COLUMN: Parting is such sweet sorrow

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Reporter reflects on her work with The Oldham Era, LCNI

By Laura Hagan

The time has come, to say goodbye...
Sorry. I realize the headline and that first line of this column are stolen from someone who’s said it before – Shakespeare and the Mickey Mouse Club, naturally.
But it’s procrastination, delaying the inevitable, which is telling you all that I’m leaving this newspaper, just one week from today.
I’ve taken a job at Business First, a weekly newspaper in downtown Louisville where I’ll be a section editor, no longer writing, but instead coordinating others’ writing and editing it for publication. It’s a great opportunity, yes, but it’s also bittersweet.
In leaving The Oldham Era, I’ll be leaving what’s been my home for the past two years. Before that, I was part of the same company, just in a different location. I’ve gotten to know so many people and learned so much in my time with this paper, it’s hard to leave. However, I’m not leaving town, so you may still see me around every once in a while.
There’s so much I could say about my time here, but I’ve only got so much space. And I’m on deadline. Shhh.
I’ll start with the thank-yous, I suppose.
Thank you to the magistrates, council members, mayors, judges and other county officials that welcomed me in when I was still relatively green two and a half years ago. You all put up with a lot of messages and e-mails, a lot of questions, tons of explaning and almost always returned my calls.
To the teachers and staff at the schools, thank you for letting me in. Covering the various events and performances these schools offer has been some of the most fun I’ve had as a reporter.
To the students, thank you for answering my questions, smiling your best smiles for the camera and always being honest – whether it’s letting me know how to cook a turkey or telling me that I’m a year older than Santa.
To the readers, thanks for the feedback. Good or bad, it’s been great to live and work somewhere where people aren’t afraid to share their opinions. I welcome any and all feedback about my writing and some of the kind words you all have sent me – especially after a column I wrote about my grandfather’s passing in 2008 – are things I will always remember.
I’m leaving a countless number of people out, I know and I’m sorry. But thank you, Oldham County, for everything these past two and a half years. You’ve made my experience here a great one.
What will I miss about being a reporter? Hmmm.
I’ll miss the weird looks I got sometimes when people didn’t understand what I was doing there – whether it was in the courtroom or at an event where I was wandering around with a camera. I’ll miss the suggestions I got when covering events. We value your feedback and want to hear what you like and what you don’t about the paper. Often, your suggestion could end up being our next front page story or feature. In fact, Students of the Week came from a reader I talked to at the Brownsboro Days festival this summer.
I’ll miss lively meetings and livelier festivals and the relationships I’ve made with many of you that I hope to continue.
To the ladies – and Mickey – in the office, you’ve meant more to me than I can say in this space and I’ll miss each of you.
Really, though, I’m not going far. I still live right outside the county line and have friends and family in Oldham County. So you haven’t seen the last of me.
I’m not good at this good-bye stuff but I did want to make sure I said something before I left. I had high hopes of some wickedly funny or weepy column to end my time with, but alas, this is what you get. Sorry.
Keep in touch, please. My e-mail is lhagan7@gmail.com. And now that I won’t be working in this county, maybe I’ll add you on Facebook.
In all seriousness though, thank you all again, for everything. It’s been the best of times...

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.