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Thank you for everything

Viewpoint of Chris Adams

September 04, 2019
To be a good reporter, you have to love the community you are covering. I hope I have been a good steward of this newspaper — your newspaper — because I truly love this community.

In case you haven't heard, this will be my final issue as editor. I've accepted a job away from the newspaper that will allow me more time with my wife.

I still will be around, as I've agreed to help out by covering some meetings and events here and there, but my home away from home is changing.

I don't deal well with change or goodbyes, so, instead of saying farewell, I want to take this opportunity to do what I've tried to do for 24 years, including the last 19 as editor: make this about you and what makes this community so special.

While the Clarion News covers several counties, it primarily is a Crawford County paper. When I was a kid spending almost every weekend at my grandparents' home in Marengo, I never dreamed I would work for the local newspaper, let alone someday serve as its editor. Let me just say, I am so very glad I did, and that's because of you.

I remember early in my time at the paper being in the courtroom at the old courthouse in English and watching Sara Combs, my editor and a woman who taught me more about journalism and life than she could ever imagine, interact with people. I was struck by the ease with which she talked with what seemed like every person in the room while waiting for the election results. It amazed me because I remember thinking how special it must be to have that type of relationship with the community.

I'm honored that you've allowed me to have that relationship with you.

While the board of commissioners and county council meetings are important, the stories I've loved most have been the ones that celebrate who you are as a community. It has been a joy covering things like the annual Relay For Life, because you never cease to amaze me by your generosity, never failing to give more per capita than surrounding counties. I get goosebumps each summer when I see 1,400 people coming down Pleasant Avenue in Marengo for the underground 5K and three times that many pack into the downtown for the free Labor Day concerts. How cool is it that little Marengo, Ind., has hosted The Kentucky Headhunters and Confederate Railroad?

It was a privilege putting the Crawford County Wolfpack on the front page when they advanced to the Class 2A boys' basketball championship game in 2017, and I'll absolutely never forget how amazing it was being in the Lucas Oil Stadium tunnel taking photos of the Crawford County Marching Wolfpack in 2015 as the band prepared to march at the state finals.

I also felt pride when Milltown, English and Leavenworth were each named national Blue Ribbon schools, as well as absolutely loved overseeing the Linked! high school newspaper, as I've gotten to know some really awesome kids over the years.

As I was cleaning out some things in my office, I ran across a thank-you note and photo from some English Elementary School students whom I spoke to about journalism 10 years ago. One of those students is now a senior at Crawford County High School and a four-year member of Linked!. While I remembered speaking to the EES students, I never made the connection that she had been one of them. I don't know if it encouraged her to join Linked!, but I like to think that I made a positive impression.

After all, that is what I've tried to do in my time here: be a good caretaker of the newspaper and community.

Thank you for giving me that opportunity. It means more than you'll ever know.

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