It pains me to say this, so it is with some anguish that I must report that my tie to the last full-time print journalism stop on my journey has been all but severed.
The Amarillo Globe-News no longer resembles the place I worked for nearly 18 years. I worked there longer than I did at any of the four newspapers where I practiced my beloved craft.
The building is vacant. What is left of the news reporting staff and the advertising department is holed up in an office suite down the street in a downtown bank tower.
Here is what really hurts: I look at the online edition and am amazed at how little actual Texas Panhandle news is being reported. I shouldn’t be surprised, given that the G-N now has precisely two general assignment reporters, or roughly about 2 percent of what it once employed. I have to subscribe to the paper to read the stories, so I all I see are the headlines.
What’s more, a real head-scratcher deals with all the Texas Tech and Lubbock-centric headlines I see on the home page. Tech and Lubbock? Yep. That’s what I see. I have looked at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal home page, too and I have discovered that the A-J offers none of the kind of Panhandle-centric news for its readers that I see in the other direction at the Globe-News.
This is my way of admitting that I am letting go of a big part of my professional and personal journey through life.
I enjoyed some modest success along the way. My career began in Oregon; it took me to Beaumont and then to Amarillo in Texas. Indeed, the Oregonian — where I worked briefly before gravitating to Oregon City, Ore. — bears no resemblance to what it once was. The newspaper in Oregon City is gone, pfftt! The Beaumont Enterprise has shrunk dramatically, too.
Looking at the last stop on my journey, though, is one that hurts the most.
The good news? I am a happy fellow today. That was then. The here and now is quite good.