Lately, much of my job has been writing about my job.
I’m preparing an extensive memo to the next features editor, and man is it hard — almost as hard as leaving.
I have accepted a job at a newspaper in Dubuque, Iowa, and will be rolling out of Robeson County by the end of the month. While Iowa can mostly be described as flat and cold, it is a step up in my career and hugs the border of my home state of Wisconsin.
I will be writing features, which is a skill that I have this newspaper to thank for helping me learn and hone.
I will miss the people I have met, the weather, and your Southern ways. I wish I could take my porch swing with me, along with an endless supply of sweet tea and barbecue.
In my year and a half here, I have really come to love this state — its people, places and culture — and I want to eventually come back to a place like Raleigh or Greensboro. But for now, climbing the career ladder means taking a 1,119.60-mile trip westward at a 45-degree angle.
I want to thank you for reading my stories each week and for your comments. Any reply, whether it be an angry phone tirade or a posted compliment from a secret admirer, is evidence that someone is reading. If eyes are on what I’m writing, I’ve done what I came to do. And if they like it, then it is time to party.
I hope I have provided a section that informed you about fun things to do around town, gave you the inside scoop on interesting people and places in the county, and showed you a small portion of all the positives here.
I have one week left before I head out, and if it is anything like the past week, it will fly by in a flurry of details related to moving. But I will make time before I leave to stop and remember all the fun I’ve had here.
I found a family, a home, and a first job that I’ll never forget. This experience has taught me more than I ever imagined, both about journalism and myself. I can never replace that.
Thinking about the upcoming drive down Carthage Road and onto Interstate 95 South (yes, the journey northeast begins by driving south), there are people who come to mind who will dominate my rear view mirror.
My neighbors Brenda and Chris are like the watchdogs of the block. If you mess with any of their neighbors, you are messing with them. Their caring and welcoming nature has been greatly appreciated.
My landlord Bucky is a wonderful guy to have around, if for nothing else than his great stories. I don’t think anyone knows how to “cool out” better than Bucky. He has been a wonderful landlord, but a better friend.
I’ll also miss the sports editor Kaleb, my neighbor in the apartment building, who is always willing to kill a cockroach or two. OK, that is a lie. He’s usually the one crying.
Donnie Douglas, my first “real” editor, will also be missed for his hilarious anecdotes that border on inappropriate, and his subtle signs of having a heart. I know your secret.
Debra and her family have been my Lumberton family. I can’t thank them enough for all the holiday meals, chats and fun times. I was so lucky to move in next to someone so caring.
Donna has been a great friend, for lunches, conversations and advice. I will truly miss her.
Jerry Johnson was one of the first few people I met, having arrived in a 1993 Oldsmobile that was dead on arrival. Soon enough I was styling in a 2003 Grand Prix that I could afford only because Jerry made it happen. I’ll never forget his kindness.
On Friday, I’ll be sitting next to a fire laughing about all the good times and facing a new future. I can only hope it is as rich as my time here has been.
Feel free to shoot me an e-mail or give me a call this week. I’d love to hear from you.
— Reach features editor Amanda Munger at 910-272-6144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.