One of the wonderful hallmarks of my journalism career, which I pursued with great joy for nearly 37 years, was the learning I gained from the communities I covered as a reporter and then as an editor.
I was able to work for several newspapers during my time in the reporter’s and later the editor’s saddle. In Oregon, then in Texas, I settled into new communities and sought about learning the ins and outs of each community that read the words that I produced.
Even though my full-time career ended abruptly in August 2012, I have been able to keep learning about the communities I get to cover in my “semi-retired” state.
I work these days as a freelance reporter in Collin County, Texas, covering Farmersville (primarily) and also Princeton (where I live). I write for a group of weekly newspapers owned by a husband and wife who also live in Collin County.
That’s not all! I also get to cover issues involving a much broader community for KETR-FM public radio, based at Texas A&M University-Commerce. My work is published on KETR, org, which is the website run by the public radio station.
My latest assignment for KETR, org has me covering the status of the Hunt County jail in Greenville. I won’t divulge what I have learned, as I don’t want to scoop myself or, more to the point, my bosses as the radio station.
I merely want to relish in the knowledge that one is never too old to learn new things about new places. I am now approaching 74 years of age. I have seen a lot of things in my life, met a lot of interesting and provocative individuals along the way.
However, I can say with tremendous joy in my heart that I continue to learn about the communities I cover for the news organizations that are willing to allow this ink-stained wretch to keep pursuing the craft he loves.
Yes … I am living the dream.