glance or a wave signaling the end. Sometimes not a word is
But to leave without acknowledging what I’ve gained from the
last two years and change would be slighting the experience. In
this job you get out what you put in, and Gilroy has paid me back
In my first days at the Dispatch, I wrote a story about a man
who collects golf balls. He took one look at me and chuckled as I
walked into his garage.
So, you work for the Dogpatch?
I’ve never been good at goodbyes. Most of my life it’s been a glance or a wave signaling the end. Sometimes not a word is uttered.
But to leave without acknowledging what I’ve gained from the last two years and change would be slighting the experience. In this job you get out what you put in, and Gilroy has paid me back in full.
In my first days at the Dispatch, I wrote a story about a man who collects golf balls. He took one look at me and chuckled as I walked into his garage.
“So, you work for the Dogpatch?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. If you can’t make fun of your hometown newspaper, what can you make fun of? I told him I liked the nickname but things would change. I told him I would make the paper more interesting and he better keep reading.
I made my rounds and quickly learned the first person I interviewed wasn’t alone in his opinion of the paper. My job had the reputation of a revolving door. Some coaches said they didn’t need to learn my name because I would be gone in a few weeks. Our beloved, neurotic recreational softball writer told me my name wasn’t important.
“You’re the 54th person sitting in that chair since I’ve been here,” he muttered, smirking. “I’ll just call you, 54.”
Every email I received from him for the next six months was addressed to 54.
Over time, my name became known well enough around town and the questions started.
“You’re still here?”
“So, how long until you’re gone?”
“Why are you still here?”
I moved to Gilroy a year ago and the questions came less often. I saw parents and players at the supermarket. I drank beer and gin a table or two away from coaches. I bumped into people who hate my guts on the street, and I smiled. This was my home.
From the 91-year-old football player who gave me a signed and framed article I wrote about him to the widow who kissed me on the cheek after I wrote about her sheriff husband to the coach who invited me to his wedding reception, I can say without hesitation this community has embraced me.
I’ve written the stories this town has had to offer – the ones I felt we both would find interesting – and I’ve tried to write them well. Now it’s time for me to see what new stories I can find.
The farthest I have ventured outside of our nation’s borders is to Niagra Falls and Tijuana. You can guess which one I regret more. The reason I’m leaving Gilroy is to have no regrets. I’ve sold all my possessions and I’ll be traveling and writing abroad for the next four months. If you like, you can keep track of me by going to: runjoshrun.com.
As excited as I am about starting the next chapter in my life, there will be plenty of people I will miss. I’ll pass on thanking every individual because there are too many to name.
I often referred to myself as a one-man sports department, but the truth is I couldn’t have done my job without the support of a long list of people, in and out of the office. Andrew Matheson and Scott Adams, sports editors for the Hollister Free Lance and Morgan Hill Times, respectively, top that list.
The funny thing about this job is you spend most of your time gathering facts and opinions for a story and only get to share a small fraction of what you’ve learned. The same can be said for this column. There is no way I can say thank you enough. The Dispatch gave me my start in this racket, and it’s been a privilege.
To make the transition easier on you gentle readers, we’ve hired a new sports editor who is also named Josh. Mr. Weaver seems to be as eager to tackle the job as I was two summers ago, and I’m confident he won’t let you down. He enters the position with what I hope is a strong base to build upon.
I don’t know how well I’ve done this job, but if you read my first few articles and have continued reading up to this point, that is good enough for me. If there have been days you read my articles and called the Dispatch by its proper name, I’ll consider my time in Gilroy a success.