I hope that extremely tight “lede” (old-school journo spelling for that term) grabbed your attention – it’s been part of my job for most of the last 30 years to do just that as a journalist. I certainly didn’t want to bury it under a pile of my typical sentimentality.
I won’t be leaving Nashville any time soon, and despite some health glitches I have no desire to depart this life in the near future. This goodbye is an occupational farewell.
In recent years I’ve been barely clinging to the dream I’ve had since I was 10 – a combination of seeing the film version of “All the President’s Men” and hearing John Seigenthaler speak sparked that dream if any are curious – that I could help my community by being a conduit for information they should have on a wide variety of topics. It’s time to admit for professional and personal reasons that the dream is done and I now must find another. “What kind of man is this/That could not see/What could be seen by almost everyone/But me?” Indeed, Mr. Newley, wherever you are, indeed…
I know, never say never, but unless I’m working on an occasional paid assignment for someone else (and those have become very occasional) my days as a reporter/critic are over. I write something every day, incidentally – bits of poetry or very short stories that I keep to myself are often the result – so I’ll always be writing, but barring a major reversal of fortune my days in the Fourth Estate are done. I may keep my website up, I may take it down, but I won’t be adding anything new even if it stays online.
It’s been a privilege to write about so many people, places and things; I’ve met royalty, world political leaders, sports stars and popular performers because of my work, and that’s been quite wonderful for an ordinary boy born in Nashville and raised in Lebanon, Tenn. Thanks to all the colleagues, story subjects and readers for being so collectively kind to me over the years. Most of all, thank you to those fine folks that make up the arts community in Middle Tennessee – may your work continue to be a blessing to you, me and everyone fortunate enough to encounter your gifts.
Love and peace,