A short farewell

From Wednesday’s Dispatch

Well, this is it. 

Sometime tonight, I’m going to clean out my desk, hand over my key to the office and walk out of the Dispatch office for the last time as its sports editor.

I’m taking a job in Fayetteville, where I’ll be running a youth sports Web site for the Fayetteville Observer. I’ve written a few of these before, and I’m sure you all have a read other columns like this one. But at the risk of telling an often-told tale, I’m going to say my good byes.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to “be the boss” in a sports department. I’ve had awful jobs, cool jobs and jobs I couldn’t wait to leave. I left my last job with anger in my voice and malice in my heart. This one feels very different.

James Edwards and Glenn Craven took a chance on hiring a guy who had never been a sports editor. I have never worked for better people.

My predecessor, quasi-boss and likely replacement Mike Bollinger helped me when he didn’t have to, and has become a good friend. Ashley Ayscue is the best photographer I’ve ever worked with, and he knows how to pick a good restaurant.

I hesitate to start thanking coaches out of fear of leaving someone out, but those who know me will not be surprised to see me risking it anyway.

My volleyball knowledge has increased immeasurably in my 17 months here, thanks in large part to the Oxendines, William Hoyle and Paul Ross. And Ellis Crews gets a nod here for always being a quality interview.

I need to thanks Dave Jennings, Mark Perry and John Hammett for their help during football season. It’s nice to work with good coaches who still take the time to be good people, too.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know Lynne Rohlfing, David Hicks, Ed Wilson and Rick Frampton while Dave Donaldson and Sylvester Bulluck get extra points for being tennis partners.

Talking sports is a big part of my job, and Clay Jones, David Cline, Jeff Tate and Mike McCutcheon filled that role nicely. Dave Carrier, Mike Rotolo and Wilton Baskett always provided a challenge for me to meet deadline, simply because we’d sit around and talk long after I had put away the tape recorder.

Baskett gets the award for being the best post-interview interview, which means that he’s still interesting after I’m done “working.”

I will miss the people I’ve gotten to know here in the tri-county area. Almost as much as I’ll miss the “La Sandia” and cheese dip at Mazatlan.

It makes me a little sad to leave this job behind. It was a chance to learn and grow on a daily basis.

So many people have helped me and my family along the way. My son is so happy at L.B. Yancey in Miss Southerland and Miss Vass’ class that we’re not all moving until June. His one-on-one worker, Monique Alston, has been fantastic. My family will miss her a lot.

That tune you hear is me being ushered off-stage, in true Oscar-speech-gone-long fashion. So, I’ll wrap up with this.

I will never forget a paper that believed in me, people who were kind to me and an experience that changed my life.

Thanks a million.

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One Response to “A short farewell”

  1. Janet Says:

    Hey, Randy,
    I went looking for you after I saw the Henderson sports editor job listing on JournalismJobsdotcom. Congratulations on a cool move! It sounds like a job made for you.
    Janet

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