OPINION COLUMNS

Thanks for letting me tell your stories

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, September 8, 2012

Almost every time I spot the book “Green Eggs and Ham”, I quickly thumb through it, getting a chuckle at the rhymes orchestrated by Dr. Seuss.

Plus, I’m always taken back to Jesse Jackson’s appearance on Saturday Night Live when he read from the children’s book. You owe it to yourself to find the clip on YouTube.

Richard Greene

While teaching us different ways of denying Sam I Am’s pleas were a great contribution to many generations, it was a quote from an author I heard at a graduation a few years ago that has stuck with me: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Those words are especially true as I put together my final words in the Wise County Messenger. Today is my final day as I embark on another journey.

I came to Wise County almost three years ago with little knowledge of the area other than the handful of football games I had covered over the years. I just happened at previous jobs to cover Kyle Story’s first game at Decatur and the Boyd game played the weekend after terrorists attacks on Sept. 11.

Taking over as a sports editor in the middle of a football season wasn’t the perfect situation, but thanks to the help of many great coaches and your patience we got through that season and a few more.

It didn’t take me long to find out about the unique character of Wise County and its hard-working, deeply-caring and passionate people. They are especially passionate about their sports – which made my job easy. My task became just telling your stories.

Over three years there have been lots of stories that left me laughing and also in tears. In that time, I’ve had amazing stories to tell, especially thanks to the feats of Jordan Ward, Haley Meekins, Hanna Galloway, Jared Cate, Troy Taylor and many others.

But it’s been the personal stories – the perseverance of the Alvord girls basketball team and Taelor Wine, the heartwarming tale of how the Boyd football team took in a little boy fighting for his life against cancer – those were some of my favorites.

Though I’ve been accused of being the Grinch in certain areas for not giving ample coverage to a team or individual, it was never deliberate. One person to cover eight schools can be challenging. Thanks for your patience.

I’ve been fortunate to work for a publication that allowed me to take a few journalistic chances that many won’t ever let me forget – the Skinnydipper 5K or Grasslands Half Marathon after two inches of rain with snow falling – are just a few.

I can’t leave without giving thanks to all the amazing athletes and coaches – and of late, teachers and students – for allowing me to tell your stories. Also, I will always hold a special gratitude to the Messenger staff for putting up with me.

As I leave to take a bite out of my own green eggs and ham, I’ll carry a smile from the memories you all have given me.

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