ESCANABA - The best thing about life at a daily newspaper is how it changes each day.
Every game, every page, every story is a new lesson learned.
I'm leaving today to start learning new things in a new place: The Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, where I'll be the sports editor.
But, as I write my swan song (pun intended), I can't help but think of some of my favorite moments from my time here and the people to whom I owe gratitude.
My first thank you goes to our outdoors columnist, Tim Kobasic.
I know not all of you might agree with his weekly writings, but his depth of knowledge on these issues, both in the field and the meeting room, has proven invaluable to me.
I remember, while shooting the bull at an Escanaba-Negaunee football scrimmage last year, he described to me the beauty of watching the geese fly over the marsh near the athletic field in the morning.
It's those moments, or the look on the face of a kid having their picture taken with their first buck, that remind me of what makes this peninsula great and why I came back after college.
I think it was an appropriate finale to cover Thursday's Esky-Gladstone "Volley For the Cure" match. Volleyball is a sport I've come to enjoy, with the help of many of our area coaches. Events like this one show me this sport is growing in our area. If you check it out, I think you'll find a close volleyball match is just as exciting as a close basketball game or race on the track.
The hard work and help of coaches throughout the area are what makes this section.
It's too difficult to single any of them out, but if Copper Country coaches are half as easy to work with, I will be spoiled.
I've certainly had my share of misspellings, mistakes and misadventures here. For those, I apologize and appreciate your understanding. I hope that in between my goofs, I gave you something worth reading.
I will miss much about Escanaba, like the rare times I hit the No. 3 green on the fly at Escanaba Country Club, sharing popcorn and banter with Dr. Bill LeMire at an Escanaba Cubs baseball game, curling at the Wells Sports Complex and the Escanaba City Band.
Most of all, I will miss the passion of the our area fans, players and coaches and the opportunity to chronicle that passion on a daily basis. When the next generation pores over the yellowed clips of today's stories, it won't be my byline or the statistics that they'll care about. It's the passion that remains.
Escanaba will always be my first "real" job and even in just 20 months, I've built a bunch of memories. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you all.