A new beginning

Wade Young, editor@montgomerymnnews.com

Of all the different articles and subjects I write about each week, composing a personal column is always the hardest. Telling the world about my everyday experiences in an amusing and relevant way is the worst form of writer’s block.

I’m guessing that in the 22 years I’ve been the editor of the Messenger, I’ve written more than 1,000 of these personal pieces. I’ve told stories about dressing up as the Easter Bunny’s helper, visiting the grade school, and then getting trapped in the boys’ bathroom in said costume while kids tried to talk to me.

I wrote about a couple of kittens my son rescued 11 years ago. I included their photo, along with my phone number if someone wanted them. Little did I know people inquired, but my daughter told callers they weren’t available because she wanted to keep them. I’m glad she did this because they bring me much joy.

I’ve written about climate change, animals, gardening, and new personal pronouns emerging in our culture (“They” on July 14).

The last column moved a couple of readers to write responses to it. One was printed in the August 18 issue. Another was mailed anonymously to the newspaper, but because it was purposefully not signed, our policy dictates that it doesn’t run.

I’m a very boring person. Ask anyone. I am a homebody who likes to hang out with my kids and wife. I hate shopping unless it’s for books. Putzing around the house makes me happy, but it’s not interesting enough to make a fun read.

This column, though, is the toughest one yet to get on paper. This will be my final “Young Perspective” as the editor of the newspaper. My final day as a full-time employee was Friday, Aug. 19. After much consideration, I decided to take a position as the Executive Director of Aging Services for Communities (ASC), starting Monday, Aug. 29.

It’s a new career that I am very excited about because the organization provides valuable services (transportation and homemaking) to seniors and disabled people to help them remain in their homes.

If you’ve ever had a car break down and have an appointment in a rural community, your choices are limited. That’s where ASC comes in - valuable service for vulnerable residents.

When my family moved to Montgomery in January 1994, I remember driving by the Suel Printing/New Prague Times office (owner of the Messenger) and thought to myself, “I’m going to work there one day and write for the newspaper.”

My dream came true in 2000 when I interviewed with Chuck Wann, who owns Suel Printing Co. and the newspapers with his brother, Art. My first official article was the cross-country preview story for the Fall Sports Preview that year.

Over the last two decades, the encouragement, positive feedback, and support I have received will stay with me always.

I owe a world of gratitude to Chuck, his wife Jan, and Art, who feel more like family to me than employers. Their guidance and expertise were always there when I needed it, and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they’ve given me through the years. The Suel Printing Co. staff’s profound devotion to delivering local news every week is amazing.

I can go on and on (brevity has never been my strong suit), but I cannot finish this column without thanking Lisa whom I share with the Waterville newspaper. She has made it a true joy to come to work and produce a top-notch paper each week. Her humor, compassion, way with words, and creativity elevated this publication to the highest of levels.

If asked to be interviewed by her, take it. Her heart and soul shine through every story she writes. You will not regret it.

Of course, I can’t forget to thank Jay, who runs the Waterville paper for helping to cover county news and take phenomenal sports photos when our teams play each other. I was always so proud to run his outstanding photos because they were always so much better than my own.

I also have to thank my friends and co-workers at Suel for always offering a helping hand whenever I needed it. Deb and Debbie, Mary, Dave, Donna, Patrick, Jen, Mark, Deidra, Nellie and Joel have also enhanced and made the Messenger the stellar publication it is today.

Twenty-two years is a long time. But I’m from the generation where once you get a good job, you keep it for life. At my age, some might be thinking about retiring. Not me, I’m ready for a new beginning!


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