As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end”. 

Today, Wednesday, June 26 will be my last day of employment at the Lake County Examiner.

Although most of you have known this information for some time, it’s truly been an honor and privilege to write for such a supportive community and county that this job has provided me. 

It was on June 19, 2018 that I decided I was moving thousands of miles away to a place that was described to be “very remote”. Truly and completely obvious to everyone, it was a culture shock at first. If it wasn’t for the kindness of individuals I came in contact with immediately and the friendships I made at a professional level, I wouldn’t known what to do. 

For me, the next step will be heading back to Ohio and living in the central part of the state near Columbus as well as celebrating my sister’s wedding come July 13. When I moved out here, I took only the essentials and, as I leave, I’ll do the same to try and restart in the state I lived all my life. However, this time I’ll be leaving with a few more memories, people and animals.

I want to first thank the Examiner staff and especially Gen. Mgr. Tillie Flynn for giving me the opportunity to get the ball rolling on my professional writing career. I’ve truly learned more here about mistakes, corrections, the right way to do things and everything in between when it comes to being a reporter. 

I’d also like to recognize the G.O.A.T. and Office Mgr. Charley Tracy for teaching me the right way to bowl a 200 game and how to enjoy the little things in life.

As far as the newspaper business goes, it’s tough. For those who don’t realize it or work in it, it’s much harder than some people lead you to believe. 

I remember going through college and everyone said journalism was the easy major. Little did I know, you’re the voice for the good, bad and ugly. My first “big” story in Lakeview was actually covering the former District Attorney and everything that progressed from that situation. My first event was Cowboy Poetry, which was probably the first moment I realized that this is the true country of the United States and the “country” was not where I lived back in Ohio on Darrow Road. 

While living here, I learned to snowboard thanks to one of my best friends now, Jonathan Boothe. I found awesome hiking places thanks to my dog, Lilly. I learned about new television shows, true friendship and all the in and outs to health and keefer milk from Cory Knoop and brother Droop. I received a Jacksonville welcome from Kaley Campbell and enjoyed talks about life with Commissioner James Williams. There are so many other things from dozens of people I didn’t list by name, but most of all, I learned a lot about myself.

Lakeview isn’t for everyone and for me homesick was an understatement, but finding the little things miles away from what you’re comfortable with make those otherwise uncomfortable situations less and that was one of the most rewarding pieces I’ve gained from this journey. 

Professionally speaking, I appreciate all the kind words from everyone andespecially the Lake County Board of Commissioners who I worked closely with for the last year through the transition of the new Board and dozens of meetings. I learned all about the hospital space at Lake Health District from CEO Charlie Tveit, the cowboying lifestyle, the difference between a bull and a heifer and so many things my otherwise sheltered city life back home would have never allowed.

Although I don’t know the next time I’ll be back to Lakeview, I’m truly and genuinely excited for the future of this County and all the people working long hours to make this place something special for people that have never left and those that will come or return. 

Lakeview will always hold a special place in my memories and once again, thank you everyone for the last year of thousands upon thousands of words typed and moments I won’t forget.

 

— S. Garrett Shaw

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