By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Good-byes are never easy, and this one is no exception.
For almost two years I have served as managing editor (85-percent reporter, 10-percent editor, 5-percent janitor, phone answerer, miscellaneous) for the Quay County Sun, and I’m leaving the job as of Thursday.
I wish Thomas Garcia, our senior writer, and Veronica Montano, our advertising representative, the best as they carry on with the Quay County Sun.
I’m leaving because there are some other things I want to do, like getting involved in the community in ways that journalism does not allow, since you must avoid even the appearance of favoring a side, and working on some personal things I want to accomplish.
Like Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft who said he wanted to learn jazz guitar after he left the software giant, I want to improve my musical skills, including jazz. I play keyboards, though.
I may pursue writing in other ways, too.
Time is passing. I’m enjoying better health than I deserve at my age, and I want to achieve other goals while my health holds out. Visiting my son and his family in England, where he will soon be stationed with the U.S. Air Force, is one of them.
The past couple of years have been interesting all the time, fun most of it, and never boring.
If you thought Tucumcari and Quay County were places where nothing happens, I’ll tell you you’re wrong. Things are always happening here. They may not involve national policy or celebrities, but things move along here. Change is slow, to be sure, but constant.
Much of the news I’ve seen has been good. I’ve seen a break in our 13-year drought, an evolution toward some economic recovery in Tucumcari and the county, and a level of unity on the Tucumcari City Commission that would have been unheard of when I started here. Oh, and the Sands-Dorsey building is expected to be demolished and cleared this fall.
There has been bad news, too. I’ve followed the aftermath of Tony Day’s slaying of his adoptive mother and sister and his conviction as a juvenile, Randall Jones’ conviction in the slaying of Shirley Pacheco, and dismal news about Quay County’s child welfare and general health status.
On my last night with the newspaper that employed me for seven years in the 1970s, I said my farewells by telephone while standing with frozen feet in an inch of new snow. Just beyond the crime-scene tape in the yard where I spent most of the evening was a landing gear from a small plane that had crashed into a house in a modest neighborhood of Gary, Indiana. Two dead. One in the plane, one in the house. I had gleaned all the information I could and told my editor I was signing off.
She apologized for the conditions under which I was ending my career there, and I told her, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Who knows what tomorrow, Thursday, will bring?
I hope it ends with a bangin’ good story.
Steve Hansen is managing editor of Quay County Sun. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org