July 16, 2009

Live in the present - advice for the going, going, gone at the Grand Rapids Press

waving hand

Folks continue to trickle out of the newsroom on the west side of Michigan.

Charles Honey, most recently the religion editor at The Grand Rapids Press, decided to "focus on the present" after a timely walk through a cemetery.

Like many of us, he's reminding himself that he's not his job.
"I am no longer Religion Editor.

Check that: I no longer work as a Religion Editor. The job was not who I was, it was what I did.

OK, maybe it was more who I was than I realized. If I'm not a Religion Editor, who am I?"
Some of Grand Rapids Press employees were highlighted in a TV feature, not surprising since Ken Kolker went to WoodTV8 when he ended his 30-year newspaper reporter stint in an earlier round of goodbyes. There was a picnic celebrating the last days.

Ruth Butler, who left her day job of supervising education coverage at the Grand Rapids Press, talks about starting over and writes: "Tell me a tale of passion by book." She'll continue writing a weekly column for the western Michigan newspaper.

Rademacher, who just got top honors from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists , also will keep writing columns on a contract basis for the Grand Rapids Press. His latest column includes this:
"It's moments like this that have given way to a familiar routine for me over the past 30-plus years: See something. Wonder. Then wander on over. And discover so much more than what graces the surface."
Sue Merrell, whose LinkedIn description says "I laugh for a living," expects to continue covering the Grand Rapids theater scene on a free-lance basis.

Feature writer
Jennifer Ackerman bid goodbye in "To emotional exits, new beginnings and the belief that anything is possible." Well, sort of goodbye as she'll keep writing her Running with Needles craft column and occasional features.

Long-time reporter
Pat Shellenbarger is remembered fondly in a July 1 post on the Humanity for Prisoners blog. and in a July 6 letter to the Press editor. Delayed Justice also has written about Pat's work. He has been teaching journalism at Grand Valley State University.

Not sure what's up next for photo editor Hoyt Carrier or reporter Ted Roelofs , photographer Lance Wynn, copy editors Dixon Dudderar (more sailing, right?) or Gary Schroder. , who also spent time as an assistant news editor for business coverage and deputy metro editor at the Press and nine years as a reporter and editor at the Saginaw News.

By the way, an anonymous commenter says there's only 9 FT news reporters, 3 1/2 biz reporters and a FT sports staff of 8 left. mmmm. Could that be true?


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