I opened the front door, climbed the well-worn stairs and entered a newsroom so busy I didn’t even have a desk to call my own.
But my nomadic status didn’t matter. I was working at a newspaper that was a part of the community fabric, that tackled big issues and small events, that told the stories that matter.
It was my dream, and it didn’t take long for the grand brick building on the corner of A and 10th streets to become a home away from home.
Since that day in August 2005, I’ve covered events from the terrific to the tragic, witnessed residents rally in the face of challenges, experienced an industry in flux and been privileged to know countless people who work every day to make Tracy a better place.
Nearly eight years since I walked into the Tracy Press for the first time, I find myself opening a slightly different door.
Today marks my final day as editor of the Press. It was no easy decision.
To me, the Press has been more than just a job. It’s even been more than a chance to start conversations, meet good people, hold the powerful accountable and put the First Amendment into practice. It’s been a vocation — one that’s been extremely rewarding.
But sometimes life calls for a new course and a new adventure. It’s time for me to go exploring.
Still, there are many people I want to thank for the adventure I’ve already had:
Cheri O’Neil and Bob Matthews, who gave me my opportunity in the Fourth Estate; Will Fleet and Ralph Alldredge, who gave the Press new life and a promising future; Sam Matthews, who continues to preserve the history of Tracy and the newspaper that serves it; my many colleagues, who made the Press an invaluable asset and allowed me to succeed; the officials, citizens and sources who trusted and worked with me; and my wife, family and friends who put up with the schedule of a journalist.
But most of all, I want to thank you — our readers.
You talked to us, shared your thoughts and kept us honest.
You supported us through tough and trying times by reading, by writing, by simply picking up a paper every week.
I hope you continue to support the Tracy Press and the talented people who lead it and produce it. This newspaper remains a part of the community fabric that tackles both big issues and small events, telling the stories that matter.
And I truly believe it will only grow stronger.
As I walk out the doors at 131 10th St. this week, I find myself thankful and humbled — thankful to have been a part of this community, and humbled to have had this space to speak with you.
This newspaper, this town and its people will always have a special place in my heart.
• Second Thoughts is a personal opinion column by Jon Mendelson. His last day as the editor of the Tracy Press was Thursday, May 9. Share your thoughts with the Tracy Press by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 835-3030.