Newspapers have been a big part of my life since the age of 9.
After starting my one little four-page, 8 1/2 by 11 sheet neighborhood paper, I was hooked on all things having to do with print media.
On a trip to the Black Hills, I devoured every page of the Rocky Mountain News that was placed at our motel doorstep. I would save my pennies to buy an out-of-town paper, every so often – back in the days when there were a lot more of them than now.
The Rocky, as it was affectionately known in its hometown of Denver, shut down a number of years ago, like so many daily and weekly papers since that time.
I set my sights on a newspaper career, and wrote for papers in high school, college, and landed my first job at the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
I mention that paper in particular because it was my real introduction to Davis County. I was the paper’s Davis County reporter, where I became acquainted with many people, some who have since passed on.
My growing attachment to the county led me to leave the Standard, after being reassigned elsewhere, and coming to the Clipper.
It being a totally Davis County-focused paper, I never had to worry about a transfer to some out-of-county beat. So I continued to foster relationships as a newsman for a variety of folks.
They included former County Commissioners Stan Smoot, Glenn Flint and Bill Moss. There was Library Director Jeanne Layton, who I got to know fairly well. She was fired, primarily due to the efforts of two other commissioners, at least in my view, and library board members they chose to stack the deck.
That case gained national attention, and led to her finally getting her job back and one of the commissioners never speaking to me again. That was because I wrote a column on freedom of information, and her case, which he didn’t care to stomach.
I think of Eileen Moss in Fruit Heights, who first ran for the city council to try and make Highway 89 safer. She lost children to accidents there, and, with the help of the late Rep. Marda Dillree and others, succeeded in getting significant changes made.
There also are the many people I’ve written about who shared their struggles and accomplishments against great odds. Or those who have reached out to help, in very meaningful ways, to make the community better.
I think of the group of women who started Safe Harbor, the crisis shelter for abused women and children; or the Family Connection Center, which houses a children’s crisis shelter, parenting and other classes, and operates a food bank that serves Kaysville north.
The Bountiful Community Food Pantry, meanwhile, started as a labor of love in the closet at the Bountiful Community Church. Today, still run almost totally by volunteers, it serves hundreds of needy people every month.
I can’t forget the great outpouring of volunteerism to clean up after the “Great Wind Storm” of Dec. 1, 2012. On a Sunday when South Davis streets are usually quiet, except around churches, thousands of people were out, clearing trees, hauling debris to the Bountiful and county landfills.
One of the things I have enjoyed most about being at the Clipper is the people. They are a dedicated, hard-working bunch who also have hearts. They are more like friends than co-workers
Publisher Gail Stahle has worked hard to continue his family legacy that is the 123-year-old Davis Clipper. He is the grandson of John Stahle, who bought the paper shortly after it was started and continued it through his son, John, Jr.
It is the only weekly paper left along the Wasatch Front. Times aren’t easy for the Clipprr or other papers, as readers of the Tribune and Deseret News are probably well aware.
Rather than leading with the big news, as is customary in newspaper journalism, I’ve saved the clincher to the end.
My last day as a full-time employee for the Clipper was Wednesday. I may still be contributing, but in a lesser role.
I’ve accepted a job at Davis County, which, at my stage in life, I see as a way to work under less stress and take advantage of some health and other benefits.
Thanks to all of you for making it a great ride, for almost always being understanding and helpful, for contributing to the county being a great place to live, work and play.