There really is no ending, only change
Published 1:44 am Monday, December 20, 2004
Humanity has developed many ways to refer to the end or good-bye. It can range from the sublime of Shakespeare's "parting is such sweet sorrow," to the ridiculous of Porky Pig's "th' th' th' that's all folks!" We can even say it in words not of our native tongue.
Jim Morrison sang, "this is the end, beautiful friend, the end, … of our elaborate plans, the end."
Well friends, my time here is reaching the end. I have one more week as the editor of the Atmore Advance.
Of course it's not really the end. As T.S. Eliot said, "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."
One way to look at it, is that there is no end at all, only change. That's what Eliot's trying to say.
For me, that change will take the form of accepting what amounts to a promotion. I'm moving on to become the editor and general manager of the Thomasville Times.
Those of you who know me know I'm not a sunshine pumper, so when I say it was a difficult decision on many levels, you can believe it. Certainly it will be difficult to say goodbye to the friends I've made here.
It will be difficult to leave Atmore, and I take a little bit of it with me. There are some mighty fine people here. I've learned about and learned to appreciate this community.
In this mobile country of ours, our regional culture is becoming more and more homogenized, losing those traits that were unique to their place. Just go to any big city in the south these days and see how friendly and open people are.
But I know that southern hospitality still exists in one town called Atmore.
I'd be honored if you've gained anything of value from me.
It hasn't all been roses, lollipops and big hugs, though. Sure, there've been a couple of people who've given me hell since day one. I won't miss them. But I also understand that comes with the territory. Getting into journalism can sometimes be a little like coming to work at the world's complaint desk, and most people really have no understanding of this profession and the act of putting out a newspaper.
I'll be around for the next two issues, go home to spend Christmas with my family and be moving on. You'll probably see me around town for a while after that as I haven't yet found a place to live up there. And it's close enough to visit, so don't be surprised if you spot me in town from time to time.
I hope you'll say hello if you do.
And since I opened with a quote, I suppose I'll end with one: "It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)."
Arthur McLean is the editor of the Atmore Advance.