I have already done this – I already made my goodbyes, several times in fact.
After being a reporter at the Examiner from 2014-2016, I moved onto the Herald and News, giving my proper goodbyes and thank you’s to Lake County for all it had done for me, and hoping that I had left it in better shape than when I had first found it. Odd circumstances dragged me back here last September, but always on the premise that it was simply “interim.” That term got stretched far longer than any of us anticipated, but by the time this edition goes to print my tenure with the Examiner has once again officially come to completion.
The Examiner has been an extraordinary learning lesson in life and career for me. It taught me not to pre-judge people or places without experiencing first-hand, to give my best effort at all times and by any means necessary to complete the task, no matter how long it took to do so. It gave me skills in the realm of journalism and media that I will carry on to other duties in my new roles. Lake County may seem big in geographical stature, albeit small in populace, but its impact on my life over the past six years has been metaphorically far larger than any physical border can contain.
It has been interesting, these past four months returning to familiar grounds, to see how things have changed so much, and yet remained familiar. Many acquaintances from my first tenure welcomed me back with open arms as if I had never left, and raised the inevitable question, “are you back for good?” No matter how much I tried to deny it, as my time in Lake County expanded I began to question whether in fact I actually was back permanently and just hadn’t accepted it. This is it though; barring bizarre unforeseen circumstances, this is my final official article for the Examiner.
I may still on occasion, when requested, write or edit content from afar. I may even make the occasional appearance in Lake County, both for personal and professional reasons. I will, after all, not be far away, just a quick jaunt over the hill in Klamath County.
Going forward I will remain somewhat tied to journalism, working part-time with the Herald and News, but my reason for moving on is for all of Southern Oregon’s benefit, not just Lake County. I am the new executive director of an organization that can do great things regionally from an economic, tourism, educational and cultural standpoint – Klamath Film.
A nonprofit established eight years ago that has grown by leaps and bounds, I will be helping coordinate film production throughout Southern Oregon – from community outreach and educational workshops to special film screenings, an annual film festival in September, and enticing film crews to the region to take advantage of the high desert setting. Having spent years now in Lake County, I know what breathtaking backdrops exist for the right film, and how the right production can spur not only instantaneous economic booms, but place locales on the map thereby drawing future productions and tourists. Two decades ago places like Santa Fe, Atlanta and Vancouver barely had any film production, now thanks to efforts of similar organizations and the right productions, film production is a major part of their local economies. Perhaps not on those same scales simply from a population base, but I believe Southern Oregon can be a desired destination for future films too.
So this may be goodbye, Lake County, but in all likelihood not for good. Best wishes, good luck, and we’ll be seeing each other again somewhere down the dusty ol’ trail.