This year has, collectively, been a horrible one for most people. I think we can all agree on that.
Mass shootings seem to happen biweekly, politics are driving everyone insane, and we’re more than a little terrified. But, in my opinion, the world of journalism iwas hit the hardest. We were called enemies of the state and someone even tried to trick the Washington Post into writing a false story.
It has been, all around, an awful year; however, in the beauty of times spent in strife and struggle you obtain moments of respite that are made all the more sweeter.
The Pioneer is where I owe many of those moments. We struggled together and shared so much of our own personal lives and stories with one another. We got scared, together, furious together, and sometimes furious with each other.
But Cici, Brandon, Natalie, Sean, Savannah, Rahul, and Thomas have been right there beside me supporting me as my staff and as my precious friends. I’ve lost many friends over the years, some literally, and others from whom I just grew apart. But my friendship with this group is one that will last.
We did some amazing work this year, work that I am so proud of. Everyone at the Pioneer is talented and incredible.
I personally don’t think I deserve them. But I haven’t mentioned one person. Scott Carter, my publisher, my friend, my mentor, and literally one of the best men I’ve ever met. Scott told me way back, when I was in his class, to meet him in his office for some random reason. It scared me half to death.
When I met with him I was sure I’d failed his class or something, but he just smiled and said, “I want you to be the editor of the newspaper in the Fall.”
I was shocked, of course, considering I’d only been writing for the Pioneer for a little while. However, I could see the confidence in his eyes when he told me. Scott isn’t the type of man to make gambles he wasn’t sure would turn out.
Now he can tell you I haven’t been very gracious this year, but that’s only to mess with him. Scott, since I know you’ll be reading this, I want you to know from a black kid living on 104th street, to a country boy from Clearview, to now a man: Thank you for giving me this chance. For seeing me for me, and guiding me as you have. You taught a man how to fish. The lessons I learned from you will last a lifetime. I will be proud and honored to tell my kids one day about the illustrious Scott Carter; how stubborn and lame he was, but I wouldn’t have all these blessings without him.
My life has been blessed with all the connections and friendships I’ve made with you all, and I know the Pioneer is in capable hands.
Savannah is stepping up as editor and I have no doubt in my mind she will succeed. Hell, if you asked me, she already surpassed me a long time ago. Keep it pushin’ sista, you are the hope of slave as am I, and I know you’re making your Dad proud.
Brandon, you’ve been like a brother to me: we’ve laughed, fought each other, and actively annoyed each other every chance we got. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I expect to be the first in line to sign everyone of your books.
Sean, you cranky old man, you’re about the funniest soul I know. When we get famous playing video games and editing videos for hundreds of dollars, you remember I told you it’d happen!
Rahul, you are just about the best videographer I’ve met my man! I also want front row seats to all your movie premieres dude, I swear.
Cici you are a delight to be around. We think so alike sometimes I can just look at you and we burst out laughing! Thanks so much for being my friend. Considering how multitalented you are, I require free tickets and or merch regardless of what you choose to do, it’s a safe bet after all.
Natalie, girl, we just barely escaped science together! You and I were in the trenches this whole year, and there’s no one I’d rather struggle with. Also, since I know you’ll be the executive PR person for the Thunder one day, hit me up with some floor seats. I know you’ll have them!
Thomas, you and I go way back. One of the most laid back charismatic guys I know, and probably the most likely to be a movie star or some famous director. I look forward to watching you work, maestro.
With that I want to thank last but not least you, the readers. Thank you so much for sticking with us this whole time, supporting us and reprimanding us. Its all important, so thank you. Keep watching these outstanding people. I know they will not disappoint.
Thank you all so very very much.