In addition to my actual home, and my home away from home — Myrtle Beach – there are two other places that have always been home for me.
One of them is The Westfield News.
I have worked at the paper for about 15 years in total. I always am drawn back here every time I try something new. When I was a kid I remember having my picture in the paper taken by none other than the institution known as Carl Hartdegen. In high school I was the tennis team captain senior year and one of my duties was to call in the scores after every match to the Evening News sports editor (a tradition I wish continued with sports teams today). Carl took our photos during matches and also photographed me in high school plays and at other events.
And speaking of high school, the other place that has always been home to me is St. Mary’s. I spent 12 years in school there and have continued to attend Mass (not as regularly as I’d like) and support the schools and have always felt comfortable there. After all, as the STM family knows, once a Saint, always a Saint.
So when I was given the opportunity to work in both of my “homes,” I felt like I was being given a blessing. As of Aug. 6 I will no longer be the editor of The Westfield News. I will join the ranks of freelance writers and I will continue writing a column, however, during the day I will be supporting my alma mater as a full-time employee of St. Mary’s High School.
I am very excited to be able to support both places that have been home to me for so long. And I am also excited to introduce our new editor, Michael Ballway. Mike comes with many years of experience in journalism. He has worked at a daily newspaper in central Mass. and was a former weekly editor for a local news group. He has also written for The Republican and knows the Greater Westfield area well.
Thank you to our faithful readers for your support over the years — I have always believed this is your paper and I hope you continue to believe that as well and reach out to Mike with your great stories. He can be reached at [email protected] and please continue to reach out to me, too. After all, this is still my home.