I have put a lot of thought into what I wanted to say to you as I write my last Rhonda’s Remarks for the Citizen Voice & Times.
I will retire on Tuesday, May 22. I will send the last pages to the printer, I will say goodbye to my co-workers and so I must say goodbye to you.
I have covered my last meeting, my last community event, my last election, my last graduation, fair and festival.
Publisher Guy Hatfield took a big chance on me when I was added to his highly successful staff in 1999. I was not formally educated as a writer, but he had a lot of faith in me and I will always be grateful for that. It took more courage than I knew I had to make the transition from school cook to news editor sometime after my 50th birthday.
I have met so many wonderful people in the past 13 years. I can’t possibly mention all the people I have worked with, both in this office and out in the public.
But I owe a special thank you to the two people whose job it was to teach me, Jeff Moreland, who was the editor when I was hired and Tish King, who worked alongside me for many years and taught me so much. We had a lot of fun in the early years staying at the office all hours of the night to get the paper out. I will never forget that.
The other two editors with whom I worked are H. B. Elkins who is my buddy and always will be, (we got along really well and had some great times together, even though he is a very conservative Republican) and Jeff Kerr, who was so much fun to work with. He was a quiet man, but sometimes he would say the funniest things and Tish and I would just crack up while he kept a straight face.
I would never have learned how government and the school board work if not for this job. I would not have gotten acquainted with people who I hope will remain my friends. I would not have had the opportunity to meet lawyers, judges, state representatives, heads of local government and many others.
I have especially enjoyed visiting with Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor and his staff, Teresa, Kim and Christine.
I supervised a lot of Kentucky Press Association Interns over the years. One of them, I am proud to say, is taking my place here. Whitney Leggett is going to be great in this job.
I have really been blessed to work with some truly awesome people and I will miss them all, especially my good friend, Lisa Baber, who has been my lunch buddy and keeper of all my secrets.
We have shared laughter and cried many tears together. We have supported each other and cared about each other. We have listened to each others’ troubles and shared in each others’ triumphs.
I will also miss Lisa Powell, Cheryl Arvin, Megan Parker, Angelia Richardson, Lisa Bicknell and Austin Lay. They are all such special people.
I also want to mention Teresa Hatfield-Barger, the publisher, who had some mighty big shoes to fill when Guy died. It wasn’t easy for her to step in and manage the CV&T but she has done an admirable job in a difficult position. She has always made allowances for what I don’t know and supported me in my work.
I have so much to look forward to. I am going to spend time spoiling my great-nephews and just enjoying my Mama, my children, the rest of my family and my best young friend, Chyna.
I ran across the words to a song that Perry Como used to sing at the end of his television show, so I will leave you with them.
May the good Lord bless and keep you,
Whether near or far away.
May you find that long awaited,
Golden day today . . .
May your troubles all be small ones,
And your fortune ten times ten,
May the good lord bless and keep you,
‘Till we meet again . . .
May you walk with sunlight shining,
And a blue bird in every tree.
May there be a silver lining,
Back of every cloud you see . . .
Fill your dreams with sweet tomorrows,
Never mind what might have been.
May the good Lord bless and keep you,
‘Till we meet again.
Goodbye dear friends and readers.
…and that’s all I have to say about that