I am in the final hours of my final day at the Nevada Appeal.
And it’s all too much to put into words.
From the time I was very young, I have been a writer. I used to spend the first hour of my bus ride into Elko dreaming up stories and writing them with a fat pencil onto that brown, wide-lined paper as the school bus bumped along. Right before we got into town, the bus would stop again, picking up the kids who lived just on the outskirts.
There was a girl who got on then (In my mind she was nearly an adult, but was probably in middle school) and she’d sit next to me. She’d ask me to read what I’d written.
She’d laugh at the funny parts. Sympathize with the woes of my pathetic characters. And I was thrilled. The only thing I liked better than writing, I learned early on, was sharing it.
Then as a junior in high school, I took a journalism class and became a writer for the school newspaper, The Pow Wow. I was awe struck. It’s that feeling people talk about of meeting a soulmate, I would imagine. I knew I’d found my passion.
And nearly 15 years ago exactly, I walked into the Nevada Appeal office, no résumé, wearing jeans. I interviewed with then-editor Barry Smith who knew a diamond in the rough when he saw one ... or was just desperate to fill the position.
This really has been the realization of a dream for me. But it would not have been possible without you. You’ve shared your lives with me. You’ve let me into your homes when a loved one died, you’ve shown me your own life’s work and invited me to accompany you on some grand adventures.
You let me tell your stories, and it’s been an honor.
I received an email from a dear friend Brian Reedy a few weeks ago. We met as I covered Carson High School where he was a teacher before leaving last year for health reasons.
“You have more power and poetry in your words than I think you realize Teri,” he wrote. “As I have said before, you are this city’s storyteller of the real life and pulse of who we all are. You tell of us the beauty, the suffering, the redemption and the ultimate best in each of us. You do this in either the story you tell, or your telling of a story brings it about. You have a gift and you use it well.”
If that is anywhere near true, then I will consider my time at the Nevada Appeal a success. •••
Not to be anticlimactic, but my column will continue to appear weekly in the Appeal. So if you have any suggestions or ideas, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text me at (775) 220-5333.
Before I go, I want to see all of you (maybe meet some of you). There will be a reception 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Nevada Press Association building, 102 N. Curry St. to bid farewell to the newspaper and announce my future plans, including a collaboration with Nevada Photo Source, which was founded by former Appeal photographer Cat Allison. Come see me!
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