Times Telegram (Utica, New York) government and business reporter Donna Thompson sent out the following excerpt note:
A few weeks ago, I emailed one of the hardest letters I’ve ever written. I announced my plans to retire from the Times Telegram at the end of November.
Forty years ago this month, I walked into what was then The Evening Telegram office on Green Street in Herkimer to begin my first day as a full-time reporter. It wasn’t my first time in the office; I’d been serving as a correspondent, or stringer, covering events in the Little Falls area for a year or more.
I covered meetings, fires, news conferences and parades, interviewed people, took photographs, typed obituaries and probably drove my family crazy when I began planning our vacations around attractions I thought would make good photo features.
I shifted to an editor’s position for a few years and learned to lay out pages. There were layoffs and the staff grew smaller. The press was idled as the printing was outsourced, and I moved back to a reporter’s position.
As I move forward, I likely won’t miss my early morning alarm or the frustration of trying to squeeze indoor and outdoor chores into evenings and weekends, but I will miss the energy a newsroom – even a virtual one – can generate and the satisfaction of finally pulling together a story. Most of all, I’ll miss the people – contacts and co-workers, past and present.
I’m not sure what the future will look like – more writing is certainly a possibility – but for now I just want to say thank you for an amazing 40 years and goodbye.