I wanted my last Saturday as the Sunday editor for the Democrat-Herald to be picture perfect, something that would make filmmaker Ken Burns beg me to tell my story.
It certainly started out that way, before the night imploded. Two co-workers brought pie, I finished my final column for the Sunday paper and we got word of a great story involving a 60-year-old surfer dude saving the day near a Newport jetty.
Tracking him down for an interview usually takes an old priest and a young priest, a rabid guinea pig and 20 phone calls to friends on Facebook.
Not this time. He actually called me back in less than 10 minutes. It was so easy, Publisher Mike McInally advised me to embellish how I reached him. So as far as you know, I called in a favor to my soothsayer bookie in Tibet.
Not only did we land a very good story with a great photo by Jesse Skoubo, I would still had pie left to eat out of the carton after everybody else left for the night.
Maybe they would make a statue of me for the front of the paper. Future tours would include stops at Mike Henneke’s desk and bow down in reverence where they tiny toilet used to sit. This means I better make time for Matt Lauer.
What’s this? Have to remake a page before deadline because a story was three days old. There’s two more blunders in the Lifestyles section that needs to be fixed. And there’s a glaring error by me on the top of A1.
Suddenly my picturesque little woodland scenario has turned into the beach scene from “Saving Private Ryan.”
What a way to go. Suddenly I can picture myself getting escorted from the building and the company tearing up my last paycheck.
Today I came home I came home to find my wife and youngest son reading my column at the kitchen table. I walked back into the bedroom, in preparation for my traditional Sunday nap.
Before I went to sleep, Spencer walked into the room, carrying the section with my column on the front. He had it folded over where I could see my picture on the front.
“Could I keep this?” he asked. “I want to show it to my teacher.”
I looked at him and smiled big. Maybe I found my perfect ending after all.