After 25 years with the Packet, I’m retiring.
Tomorrow is my last day.
I’m packing up the photos of the kids and grandkids that line the top shelf of my desk, taking my manual Underwood typewriter that’s been sitting atop the filing cabinet in my office for years and moving on.
It’s funny the things one remembers at times like this.
I just had a flashback of my first day on the job.
The office back then was located on the ground floor of the Clarenville Medical Arts building.
I wanted to make a good impression so I wore a forest green knee length skirt, a white frilly blouse and on my feet black high heel shoes.
That was the first and last time that happened.
I quickly found out that skirts and high heels were not a good fit to cover a slo-pitch tournament on a dusty ball field.
My work attire over the years had me a donning a variety of garb including knee high rubber boots and, on occasion, even oilskins and a lifejacket. I’ve bundled up in snowsuits and felt-lined boots and climbed the snowy slopes at White Hills Ski Resort and walked the cross-country ski trails to get a good angle for a photo.
I’ve leaned over the boards at the old stadium in Clarenville, and Bonavista, and in recent years I’ve done the same at the Clarenville Events Centre, all in an effort to get that one good shot. Hot Paws gel packets tucked into the soles of my boots were intended to help keep my feet warm. It never worked for long, certainly not long enough to get me through three periods of ice hockey.
I’ve covered a lot of sports as well as community events the last 25 years.
I was around when some of the young athletes made their first foray onto the sporting scene, whether it was ice hockey, figure skating, volleyball, basketball, soccer and the list goes on.
I’ve watched them develop into fine athletes and, more importantly, fine young men and women. Come to think of it I’ve even attended a few of their weddings, as well as their kids’ christenings.
I’ve even had an offer to get into a souped up dragster for a quick run down at the Clarenville Dragway. I’ve yet to take them up on their offer, but according to dragway organizers the offer still stands.
I’ve covered numerous figure skating carnivals, minor hockey banquets, official openings of memorial rooms and the list goes on.
When I first started at the Packet it was under the umbrella of Robinson-Blackmore. Then it changed hands to Optipress and now Transcontinental Media.
But for all those changes in ownership I still considered myself an employee of the Packet. Probably because when I’m out covering an event I often hear someone in the crowd say, “Oh, the Packet’s here.”
I’ve met so many people over the years, not just the athletes but their parents and grandparents as well. And I’ve have made some great friendships along the way.
I’ve covered Clarenville Days, Bonavista Days and many other community festivals. I’ve seen just about every nook and cranny in the Packet’s coverage area.
Am I going to miss it?
I’m going to miss my coworkers, in particular Barb and Bonnie. We’ve shared a lot good times over the years and I’m going to really miss our chats.
Just recently I filed to receive my Canada Pension. Yes, next month I’m turning the big 60. But I won’t be worrying about the cold because I’ll be in lovely Bermuda getting in a few more rounds of golf.
I’ve had a great run. Now it’s time to turn a new page.
Thanks for the memories.