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Zone columnist reminisces, bids farewell to readers

June 3, 2012
By JOSHUA S. FLESHER - Tribune Chronicle , Tribune Chronicle |

Inevitably, life changes in a million different ways as we get older and part of that is moving from one challenge to another.

This will be my final column as I have decided to start a new career away from the newspaper.

I request that you all hold your tears and cries of ''No, this can't be true!'' until the end of the column, at which time you all can call your friends to discuss the upcoming hole in your lives in which I once resided.

OK, that was a bit much, but I have to keep it light.

In the past five years, you have experienced so much of my life with me. You read as I prepared for my wedding by doing very little of the actual preparing. You were there as I panicked and awaited the arrival of my first son and again a few years later when my second son was born.

I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of you as I'm out and about, and hearing that you liked this column and read it faithfully means more to me than you will ever know.

I came to this job with the hope that the things that I wrote about and the things that I said would make a difference to someone out there.

It's a weird thing to think about, sitting in the office banging away at my keyboard, looking for the right words to say and knowing that there are thousands of people who get this paper every single day.

It's humbling to think that the thousands of stories I've written over the past five years and the hundreds of columns that gave you all a chance to get to know me a little better, have been read by so many people that I've never met.

The kind words and to hear people say they enjoyed a particular column is what made this portion of my job so rewarding.

However, it is time that I step away from this chapter in my life and take on a new challenge. I'll miss the work here, most of it anyway. I never did warm up to the stories about violence and crime. In my five years here, I've seen and heard things that I wish I never had, but it's what makes this job what it is.

I've met people like Cloris Leachman, the professional dancers with ''Dancing With the Stars,'' Asdrubal Cabrera and so many others through this job.

I will always remember the first time I had a story on the front page of the paper. It was in 2007 when I covered the Packard Car Show. It was such a thrill to see that story on the front page and I have at least one copy of it at home to always remember.

I learned, also, that this is not an easy job and in many ways I'm still a beginner. I've had to learn so much, and by having an English background and not a journalism background, it was all that much harder.

I will miss the good times and the people that I've come to know so well, but I believe that my time here has run its course.

The newsroom is a much different place than it was when I came here and many of the faces have changed. I've grown in these past few years both professionally and personally.

I thank everyone who has made this experience such a memorable one and I can't begin to explain how grateful I am to all of you who read my stories and my columns especially.

I hope that my time here made some impact on the lives of others and if at any time I made anyone laugh or touched them through this column in some way, I believe I found some success here.

In closing, to steal a line from one of my favorite books and its fine author Douglas Adams, ''So long, and thanks for all the fish.''

Flesher ended his career with the Tribune Chronicle on Thursday.



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