by Andrew Henderson
The great New York Yankee Yogi Berra coined many bewildering phrases and he is perhaps one of the most quoted personalities of our time.
These utterances, now called “Yogi-isms,” have invaded our society, often bringing us delight in the simplicity and truthfulness of these phrases. “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” is arguably his most famous and often quoted “Yogi-ism.”
This utterance brings relevance to me personally as this is my last Laughing Through Life column. Yesterday was my last day at The Valley News.
It has been a great and rewarding career as I have tried to deliver the best and most comprehensive local news coverage to your mailboxes twice a week. For nearly 14 years, I have been a part of this community. You welcomed me in. You were quick to say hello and offer a smile.
And to that, I say, thanks.
Even though I grew up in Phoenix and currently live in Onondaga County, I consider myself a Fultonian. I love this community. I love the people. I even appreciate those who called and complained. Without you, I wouldn’t be doing my job.
I have many people to thank, so if you will just bear with me…
First and foremost, I want to thank Vince and Ron Caravan for their trust and faith in me. Three months after I was hired in 2000, they saw it worthy to promote me to managing editor. The Caravans are true champions in journalism. I have learned a lot from them — not just about the newspaper business and journalism, but about life, family, integrity, and faith.
Vince and Ron, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are truly newspapermen and I only hope that I was half the newspaperman that you both are.
To all my co-workers over the years, I thank you for putting up with me and my sometimes over-the-line antics. Thank you for making this job fun. Obviously, I am limited by space and cannot list every one who I worked with over the years, but there are some who stand out the most in my mind:
• Former production coordinator Roger Beck is more than a colleague. He is a good friend and I will cherish our friendship. Thank you.
• Former graphic artist Jeri Jones made my job fun. I will never forget the way she laughs, jokes, and giggles. Keep giggling, Jeri!
• Former graphic artist Richard Forbes is one of my favorite people of all time. We would often exchange barbs and jokes, piling on each other with put-downs, all in jest, of course. ‘Zat you, Santa Claus?
• Office Manager Carolyn Eaton and Receptionist Roxanne Seeber are quality people in my book. But, of course, most of you already know that.
• Former Assistant Editor Nicole Reitz is a very talented feature writer. She is also a great person whom I will miss dearly. Good luck in your new career!
• To all the sales representatives, especially Allyson McManus, I thank you for your faith in me. I truly appreciate and honor you all!
• Former graphic artist Jeff Adkins is a baseball nut like me. We could talk baseball for hours and hours. Thanks and go Cardinals!
• Photographer Kelly LeVea was always there when I needed her. Thanks for putting up with last-minute photo appointments!
• Outside of the Caravans, I probably learned most from Roy Hodge, former publisher of the Fulton Patriot and my partner in crime in hundreds and hundreds of Fulton Common Council and Fulton Board of Education meetings. Thanks, Roy!
• Reporter Carol Thompson has always kept me on my toes. Over the years, I have learned to lean on her knowledge and expertise and for that, I thank you.
There is probably dozens and dozens of people who I am forgetting. Please forgive me if I did not mention you. The reporters, columnists, and photographers are the reason for the success of The Valley News. It’s not the editor. It’s the workers. Thank you and job well done.
I would also like to thank the folks at Scotsman Media Group, including former Publisher Tom Cuskey, Sharon Henderson and all the artists in the composition department, and Associate Publisher Rich Westover. It’s been a pleasure working with you all. Thanks for all the cupcakes and cheesecake!
Of course, there are the people, groups, and organizations that I covered for the paper. Thank you for allowing me to do my job. I just don’t have the space to list you all. You know who you are.
And then there is you, the readers and members of this community. What else can I say? Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this community. Thanks for allowing me to bring you the news.
As I am writing this, a thought just occurred to me. There’s a good chance that I might never travel to Fulton again. It’s a sad and sobering thought. But know this: Even if I never step a foot into this great city and community again, Fulton will always have a special place in my heart.
God bless you all!