It's time for me to skate out of here

By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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It strikes me as ironic that one of the last stories I will write for this newspaper (These ladies are on a roll, Page A1) focuses on roller skates. You see, the first article I wrote for my college newspaper was about a student who wore roller skates to school.

During the first week of classes, I sat next to a woman who resorted to roller skates to get from her class at the extreme opposite end of the campus to our classroom in five minutes. After the story appeared in the school newspaper, our journalism professor held it up in front of the class announcing, “I wondered when one of you would see the story.” He went on to explain that we would be successful in finding stories if we watched for the “woman in skates.” That lesson has stayed with me throughout my 35-plus years as a journalist.

In my career writing for newspapers throughout Placer County, I’ve meet and written about some amazing people – from a family who built and lived in a concrete house to a family of clowns. I’ve written about people who have lived through personal tragedies as well as those who work to make this community a better place. I have even shared my thoughts about surviving with kids. In looking for the “woman in skates,” I’ve met and talked with people from all walks of life. It’s one of those rare jobs where you get to sit down with complete strangers and ask personal questions. One of my favorites has been, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My primary role, however, has been to simply listen to their stories in an effort to convey something of value to the community.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this column, I will close the door on my career as a journalist on Friday, Sept. 21. My retirement opens the door for another journalist to pursue her dream of working at a community newspaper. Please join me in welcoming Krissi Khokhobashvili, who will start at the Placer Herald on Monday, Sept. 17. Thank you for supporting the Placer Herald, especially those of you who have been willing to share your stories.