Editor reflects, bids farewell to hometown daily

By Ashley Babbitt

Managing Editor

Cub reporter-turned-head honcho in just a few short months.

Then head-honcho started turning heads once weekly opinion pieces began to hit the presses.

My time spent at The Evening Sun has been fantastic; in that anything that has happened in my life since beginning the job, is relatable to a newsroom event or a story that was published.

Managing Editor isn’t simply a job description, title or face of a newspaper. There is so much more behind the scenes that readers don’t get the pleasure of delving into.

Despite all that, I wouldn’t trade this journey I’ve taken for anything.

I remember when the masses were riled up when I wrote about how dancing at the Jefferson Memorial is not lawful.

I recall being present for the first escape from the current Norwich Police Department. She jumped out the window and Detective Reuben Roach and I located her soon after.

Well, it wasn’t long after she jumped out of the window, that I agreed – for some reason – to jump out of a perfectly functional aircraft for the ‘fun’ of it.

Goodness, I would do that every day if could, as a reminder to spend your time living for a living.

But let’s not make this long and sappy; let’s cut it down to brass tacks.

Today is my final edition of The Evening Sun as Managing Editor.

Thank you to all the faithful subscribers who have not only sent me positive letters and emails, but gifts as well. That was unnecessary, but very much appreciated and I’ll forever cherish them.

Any frequent reader of our product could easily see that my topics of interest were crime, court, law … anything that raised my blood pressure a little bit.

Below is an excerpt from a column I wrote and was published in 2014. I interviewed a convicted drug dealer in the local jail, and he told me that the problem is the demand, not the supply. He said he would like to see in-patient treatment facilities in Chenango.

‘Did you all catch that part? The out-of-towner poisoning your community is gone, and won’t be back.

You know what’s not gone? Heroin. Addiction. And the heartbreak caused by the two. Your 30-year-old son is still shooting heroin in his veins. The teenage girl and her friends down the street may break into your garage next week so they can buy a bundle from the Norwich native who is selling out of his apartment around the corner.

Agree with me or not, but I’m with Barry on this one. The method in place isn’t working. It won’t work. Long-term, inpatient treatment, education, and a little compassion just might.’

Sidenote: It only takes a weekend trip to an establishment that serves alcohol to witness hand-to-hand drug transactions conducted by well-known local folks.

Four years ago, I published what follows:

‘First and foremost, life is absurd. I immediately thought of Albert Camus' “The Myth of Sisyphus.” Sisyphus was punished by the gods and was made to roll a rock up a mountain each day for eternity, for the rock to just roll back down to the bottom daily – when Sisyphus would then have to start all over and do it again the next day.

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