The first story I wrote as a reporter was about the Chenango SPCAís new executive director. It was in early April of last year. It was in September that I assumed the role of Managing Editor. Today marks the 100th paper Iíve put together.
I still remember coming in the Sunday before that first paper that had my name near the bottom of this very page. Complete rookie. Newest reporter was given control at the editorís desk. Scared? Not my style. Overwhelmed? Sure thing. I had some shoes to fill.
That first paper had a photo of a little boy with his face painted on the bottom left of the front page. It was from the Greene AppleFest, if Iím not mistaken. I canít remember what else ran that day, but the boy was wearing a red shirt. A submitted photo of a pretty stellar sunset ran that issue, too.
Our fantastic sports editor, Pat Newell, had that week off, and outgoing editor Brian Golden had left. And just a couple weeks prior, Sun Staff Writer Kevin Doonan journeyed out of state. It was literally Staff Writer Shawn Magrath and me. Somehow, we managed to rock a paper on our own.
We jokingly referred to ourselves as The White Stripes. Or maybe we were serious. Not sure where that came from, but yeah Ö Iíd be the drummer. When Pat returned near the end of the week, he said we were like Rush. Honestly, without Google, I canít name a Rush song. Sorry, folks.
Anyway, itís been a fun ride thus far. Have typos snuck through? You betcha. Have there been sleepless nights because I was writing or trying to figure out how to get something the way I wanted it? Absolutely. But even though in my brain 100 papers sounds like a good deal, itís not even a drop in the bucket compared to long-time editor, Jeff Genung. Iím not the greatest with numbers, and Iím not going to do the math to figure it out, but he built lots and lots of papers. Plus, I hear his office was spotless.
My office is a cluttered, comfortable mess. I prefer it that way.
Since my first paper as editor, Iíve learned an incredible amount. I still have so much to learn. I donít sleep much, and I wander around with pens in my hair and my purse full of reporter notebooks, but this has been a fantastic experience so far.
Chenango County is 911 square miles (I know this thanks to Sheriff Cutting). Thatís a lot of area to cover. I know there are sometimes things we miss, but itís me and two others Ė at the moment Ė trying to take care of business county-wide, and weíre working on it.
Complaints and compliments, I welcome them both. I just went outside and was stopped by a man who said, ďKeep up the great work, Ashley. Youíre doing just fine. Winterís almost over, itís been a long one.Ē
That made my day. Thank you, sir.
I have some fun things in the works to be writing about in the near future. Iím excited. Life is good.
I know things like this arenít all that important whatsoever. 100 papers, big deal.
But, Iím the kind of gal that takes pictures when her odometer reaches a fun number.