Recently, I found myself on the opposite end of the whole news reporter scene; and I must say it was a refreshing change of pace.
Herald and News Regional Editor Lee Juillerat interviewed me for a farewell piece of sorts, which ran on page two of the Klamath Falls daily’s Friday, July 11, edition. I’d forgotten what it was like to be the interviewee, rather than the interviewer, but I have to provide the utmost in professional and personal kudos and gratitude to Lee, as the story turned out great. I was genuinely appreciative of the recognition.
For those that didn’t read the story, it essentially served as my swan song (not counting this column, of course) to the Lake County Examiner and Lake County, as my home of the past nine years.
This ‘Outback Observation’ happens to fall on my last day at the LCE, so it only seemed natural to put together some kind of farewell piece.
I struggled with what to say and how to say it.
I jokingly asked one day if I should use my last column to create a laundry list of all the things I’d covered over the past nine years for which, professionally, I was not allowed to hold an opinion; kind of a meta-joke of sorts in light of my byline’s absence from the July 23 edition forward.
Ultimately, as humorous as that sounded to me, I decided against that approach as there’s a good chance that I would be the only one laughing in such an instance.
It is no secret, though, when I say I’m accustomed to being the only one amused in certain circumstances.
In truth, there’s no real one reason for my departure; it’s more of an amalgam of things.
I look forward to being able to spend more quality time with family back in my hometown of Eugene, as well as hopefully continue pursuit of my own personal writing goals that have taken shape during my Lakeview tenure.
Working and living in Lake County has truly been a wonderful experience for the past nine years, and I hope that I made as positive and memorable an impression on each and every person I interacted with over the years as they have made on me.
It’s a tough job to do sometimes, especially when having to cover things that are less than pleasant.
I kind of knew what sort of reporter I was coming into the position back in 2005, and I hoped from the get-go there wouldn’t be too many things of a controversial nature to be covered. Some reporters live for those types of stories, but I don’t; I can remember a few occasions I, quite literally, lost sleep over how a story would be received by the readership. I can’t recommend that struggle to anyone.
Part of me wants to sincerely apologize across the board for whatever mistakes I’d made over the years, because I can say with complete honesty that I’m my own worst critic.
The worst errors, of course, are those that can’t be easily explained, and Lord knows I made a few of those.
In closing, it’s been an honor and a privilege and I will take lots of memories back with me in my move to the Willamette Valley.
It’s truly been humbling and flattering to have had all the well wishes in the past week or two from folks around town as the news of my departure has spread.
And I encourage our readership to feel free to look me up on Facebook; as usual, I apologize in advance for what I may say or find funny on there.
-— Ryan Bonham