Farewells are always hard, even when they involve journalists who are characterized by their hard-shelled protective coats.
Truth be known, we are more like M&Ms, hard on the outside, easy to melt on the inside.
We began a demonstration of that quality last week in our newsroom when we bid goodbye to Dan Golden, who began his work at The Sun News on our copy desk where he was known by his peers for his sharp eye for error and inconsistency, and even sharper headlines. Then he moved from behind to scenes to front and center as our editorial page writer, where he put his word skills to work explaining and asking “why” and “why not” about our region’s critical issues.
On Friday, we bid him farewell with red velvet cake and best wishes for his next task, leading the copy desk at the Omaha World Herald.
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This week, we’ll also say goodbye to Brad Dickerson, who hasn’t been with us as long as Dan, but who has left his mark all the same as he followed the ins and outs of governance by the Horry County Council, and on his colleagues where he is known for his teamwork, good humor and Carolina Improv skills.
Brad will be heading down the street, to join the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, and we’re confident it won’t take long for them to appreciate his strengths as well.
Come August, we’ll have another send-off, this one for Issac Bailey, who thankfully will be leaving only for nine months to study at Harvard University on a Nieman Fellowship.
What does all that mean for readers? Glad you asked.
The goal of this column is transparency, so this is the way things will shake out, at least for the short run.
We are hiring another reporter to fill the opening created by Brad’s departure, but we will not immediately fill Dan’s spot. That does not mean we won’t be offering views on local issues on our editorial pages (sorry to disappoint). Instead we will tap the experience of D.G. Schumacher, who already opines on local charitable efforts each week, and the experience of longtime legislative reporter Zane Wilson, who will put that understanding and her historic perspective as an area native, to work in unraveling what readers need to know about the issues that touch our lives.
Today marks the first change in the process, running my occasional Tuesday column on the Opinion Page instead of the Local front.
We also expect to experiment with turning the floor, if you will, over to area leaders for their views on key issues. That’s where you come in: Whose voices would you like to hear, and what issues should they address?
You can email me with your thoughts. I’ll be coordinating the administrative tasks for the section, including selecting letters and op-ed pieces.
Salute to veterans
I hope you saw the result of what The Sun News’ inaugural Salute to Veterans in the Sunday paper and on our front lawn. The flags flying there represent thanks to men and women who fought or fight on our behalf. We hope to expand that presence next year, but no matter how dramatic the presentation, it will never equal the depth of our gratitude.
I sign off with personal thanks to my husband, Tom Murray, for his sacrifice in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and to my father-in-law, Thomas Murray Sr., for his service as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
And as always, thanks to all of you for reading and sharing your thoughts, ideas and even criticisms.