OPINION COLUMNS

Adios, until next time

By Jake Harris | Published Saturday, April 25, 2015
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When CBS legend Bob Schieffer announced his retirement earlier this month, he said he wouldn’t have had his legendary career if it weren’t for Fort Worth and the opportunities the city gave him. While I’m no Bob Schieffer, I agree with his sentiment that “I’ve never believed too much in the self-made man theory – I think we all get a little help.”

Jake Harris

Jake Harris

Starting Monday, I’ll be moving to Victoria to work at the Victoria Advocate as a web producer for their site. I’ve had a great year in Decatur, and I’ve gotten to cover some awesome stories. I’ve been helped out not only by my coworkers, but by an amazing community of people as well.

I’ve moved around enough in my life to know that most goodbyes aren’t really permanent, and especially in this industry. You’re bound to run into coworkers again. So hopefully this is more of a “see you later” column than a “goodbye” column.

I figured that my last column here should be one expressing my gratitude. So, here goes, in no particular order:

  • Sara Eaton – Thanks for introducing me to your grandfather at a TCU event about a year ago. You da real MVP. When you told me, “Oh, my grandfather runs a paper in Decatur; you two should meet,” I had no idea this would be the end result. Hope you’re enjoying your world travels!
  • Tommy Thomason – Thanks for making me visit the Messenger for a class assignment at TCU and for always ruthlessly editing my stories. Your red pen is legendary, sir.
  • Roy Eaton – Thanks for the TCU conversations and for hiring me right out of college. If I can command half the respect in my career that you do, I think I’ll have done well. You’re a textbook example of how to run a newsroom that people want to work at every day.
  • Kristen Tribe – Thanks for being so flexible with my work schedule when I first started, and thanks for always making my stories more readable. Also, thanks for putting up with (and occasionally joining in on) the boys’ club that is the newsroom. You’re a great sport, and an even greater editor.
  • Erika Pedroza – Thanks for showing me the ropes in Bridgeport and being the other resident young person in the newsroom for a while. Hope Irving’s treating you well.
  • Bob Buckel – Thanks for editing my feature stories and giving me examples of ways to be more descriptive with my writing. I think I’ve almost kicked my habit of using “that” too much.
  • Joe Duty – Thanks for taking all the photos, and for always being able to make it to whatever crazy thing I was covering on scanner in the middle of the night.
  • Brian Knox – Thanks for the baseball conversations and for always being willing to move around scanner weeks if I needed to.
  • Richard Greene – Thanks for trusting me with football game coverage even though I had only written maybe five football stories before in my life. And sorry for making you roll your ankle in that pickup game. But in my defense, you were the one that chose to go up against someone 6 inches taller than you for a rebound.
  • Jimmy Alford – Thanks for the drinks, conversations and game nights at your apartment. You and Nicole are going to be great parents.
  • Travis Lisle – Thanks for being another person in the office to talk gangsta rap, real country music and Star Wars with.
  • Mack Thweatt – Thanks for “never knowing anything,” yet still catching the spelling and grammar mistakes we all missed.
  • Pete Franco – Thanks for the basketball games. Promise I’ll hang out with you one weekend if I’m ever back in this neck of the woods.
  • Pierre Moua – Thanks for the Yo Momma jokes during pickup basketball. Learned some new ones.
  • Todd Griffith – Thanks for the music and technology conversations and the jokes.
  • Ken Roselle – Thanks for always leaving half of a cookie.
  • Mark Jordan – Thanks for always making sure the company cars I drove were on the up-and-up.
  • Kristi Bennett – Thanks for being the only HR rep I’ve ever met who would join in when we would make fun of each other, specifically Pete.
  • Lisa Davis – Thanks for giving me directions to the Bridgeport Country Club that time I got lost and Google Maps wasn’t working.
  • Lori White – Thanks for helping me out with getting sources for stories.
  • Leisa Gage – Thanks for the conversations as I would go to get my morning coffee.
  • Laura Belcher – Thanks for being the other resident Catholic in the office and for always tagging along on the awards banquets I covered.
  • Donna Bean – Thanks for helping me find sources and for making sure the front office runs smoothly.
  • Brenda Jewell – Thanks for being the first line of defense to callers on the phone and for knowing when to tell people I was working on something else.
  • Bridgeport people – Specifically Velvet Oberg, Whitney Bridwell, Charles Fennell, Danny Henson, Randy Singleton, Steve Stanford, Eddie Bland, Corey Lane, the Bridgeport ISD board, the Bridgeport City Council and anyone else I missed. You guys made covering the city of Bridgeport fun. You’re too kind, and you have a great community.

Finally, thank you to the Lancasters, the Wisners, the Hastings, Hank Plume, Dale Robinson, Elroy Roberson, the Casillas and anyone else I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.

Thanks for letting me ask you prying questions about your life and for allowing me to put down your answers in print. You’re all wonderful people.

Until next time,
Jake

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