SPRINGVILLE ó I applied to work for the Springville Journal on a whim. Working in politics at the time, I wasnít really looking for a career change, but you know what they say about things happening when a person least expects them. My neighbor clipped the want ad out of the paper and left it in my mailbox, so I shrugged, sent out an application and the rest, as they say, is history.
Throughout the past three years, Springville has revealed itself to me as a friendly, thriving place. I came to know and love its burgeoning arts scene; vibrant and gung-ho Springville Area Chamber of Commerce; local businesses that are not only merchants, but closely involved in the local community; village and town governments that are some of the most upstanding, diligent elected officials Iíve had the pleasure of knowing; a school district that offers outstanding athletic, artistic and of course, academic opportunities to its students and most of all, residents who truly care about their community and each other.
Which is why it is with a tinge of sadness that I announce I will be handing over the reigns to a new editor, next month. While she arrives at the beginning of April, I will remain to get her acclimated to the job and the community until the end of the month, in order to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, and I can help her become as familiar (and hopefully enamored with) the area as I have.
At the beginning of May, I will take over as editor of the Sun in Hamburg. It will be exciting for me to head up the newspaper in my hometown, the one I grew up reading, as a Hamburg native. But it will also be sad to leave the paper Iíve worked on for the past three years, as a reporter as well as editor.
A lot has happened, during that time. Weíve seen the Springville Journal and Pennysaver merge into one, dual-section paper. The village has seen construction begin at Arts Cafe at 5 East Main St., and the Springville-Griffith Institute welcomed a new superintendent in Dr. Paul Connelly. Spring Creek Pharmacy was held up and the perpetrator caught, through the combined efforts of vigilant local citizens and police cooperation. The S-GI varsity football team went to the Ralph and a local archer headed to the Olympics. The Springville Hotel came down and businesses like Lulu Belleís and My Best Friendís Closet opened shop on Main Street in Springville, continuing the constant stream of commerce flowing through the area.
My job has given me the unique opportunity to get truly immersed in the community, in ways Iíd never have thought possible. Iíve petted cows at the Dairy Fest, watched 76 trombones lead the parade during Pageant of the Bands, filled my belly at Taste of the Southtowns and celebrated with residents at fire department installations and local galas. And in sadder times, Iíve cried with residents who lost their homes to fire and bowed my head in memory of our lost friends and family, including the recent passing of Scott Tellgren.
Iíve toured countless local businesses, interviewed a Collins animator and set designer, gotten rushed by a herd of alpacas and watched a piece of the Twin Towers go from a steel beam rolling through the village to a beautiful tribute at S-GI high school. Iíve also learned more about village, town and school board governance than I could ever have dreamed. And most of all, Iíve come to call many local residents my friends, and thatís worth more than any paycheck I may have collected.
It hasnít always been easy, and Iím the first to admit I havenít always been perfect. Iíve made mistakes and taken the heat for decisions that didnít sit well with everyone. And I thank you all for your vigilance, whether itís a misspelled name or a misplaced comma. Every email, letter and phone call that pointed out an error has driven me to try harder, look closer, dig deeper and overall, be a better journalist, to bring our readers the best product we can churn out.
Thank you Springville, for a great job and even better memories. Iíll be around for about a month yet, and watching from just down the 219, after that. Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again: weíve got a great little town, nestled in what the SACC recently called ďthe center of Western New York.Ē And thatís not a fact Iíll ever leave behind.