Why was I applying for the managing editor position with the Laramie Boomerang was the gist of the email reply from Gary Loftus, the Laramie Boomerang general manager, in response to my cover letter and resume.
I understood why I was being asked. Up until Oct. 15, when I began my drive to Laramie, I had been living the past 10 years in Bartow, Florida — which is halfway between Tampa and Orlando — following 22 years in Hickory, N.C. (And just like now, it was a job offer that prompted that move.)
Yes, definitely a huge difference in weather, temperature, but cold and snow is nothing I am not used to, as I originally am from the New York City-New Jersey region; also, it does get cold and snows in North Carolina. (By the way, just to let you know, it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humid in Bartow last Sunday.)
However, as I told Gary, this was not the first time I had ever applied for a position with a Wyoming newspaper. In 2012 I was offered the managing editor position with a Wyoming newspaper and had accepted. Unfortunately, a few days later my father (now deceased) was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, an idiopathic condition meaning science has not yet figured out why it occurs. My place was to be near my father, and I, along with my brother, were. I never have regretted that, but I also never relinquished the idea of moving to the upper west.
Also, I recently married the most wonderful lady in my life, My Wanda (and I’m her “My Steven.” I’m also her “Mantique,” as I am 20 years her senior). For our honeymoon, being that My Wanda is a Florida native of several generations, thus a “Cracker,” she never experienced real snow. A friend of mine from North Carolina has a timeshare in Avon, Colorado, so that’s where we honeymooned April 2019. We loved it so much we returned for a second honeymoon last December.
It snowed the entire week we were there both times. My Wanda and I got to make snow angels, a snowman family on the hood of our rental vehicle, and we even got to ride a gondola. We also visited a dogsled camp in April, but the snow was too soft to go mushing. However, it was the people and their attitudes and their friendliness who got into our hearts and souls; and oh yes, the scenery also.
As a result, we decided to pull up stakes and move. We originally planned on making the move to Colorado in about three to five years, but that changed this past summer when a health issue arose, prompting us to reconsider and go with “now rather than later.”
Thus I began sending my resume to newspapers in Colorado, and came upon three in Wyoming, of which Laramie was one.
This past week has been one heckuva learning experience, especially having been away from journalism two years, and it’s great being “back in the saddle again.” (Thanks, Gene Autry.)
Thanks also goes to David Watson, who has been a source of inspiration and guidance. For those who may not know it, David, who is the sports editor, has been assembling the Boomerang the past several months, and has done a yeoman’s job at it. This is why the Boomerang has been looking as good as it has, and will continue doing so. To David goes the credit.
Now, will My Wanda and I eventually move to Colorado after I retire? Who’s to say. After all, in my mind retirement is far off into the future. Still, Wyoming is just as good a place, if not better, to put down roots, especially here in Laramie, and for reasons we all know.