Dear Lord, Where has the time gone?

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

I tried to avoid this but there was just no way. It’s my annual end-of-the-year, wrap-it-up, thank-you-all for all your help column. I tried to avoid it because I have to admit to you that, as of next May, I will have been here 20 years ... doing this religion section for 14 years. I can’t believe it myself.

Was it really 20 years ago that I first came to work for what was then a new newspaper? Was it really ten years before that (1983) when I sat across the table from Cal (at another paper), scared to death, and interviewed for my first real reporter’s job? (I got it.) I later became managing editor of that paper and Cal and I were competitors.

So much time ... so many people ... so much has happened it almost makes my head spin.

For the first six years at The Citizen I was a graphic artist — let me rephrase — I was the graphic artist for two years and one of several until 1999.

In 1999 I met a wonderful guy and was planning to get married. That’s when I took the part-time position (June) as religion editor here and was only going to work until December when we planned to tie the knot and move to South Carolina.

Tragically, it did not happen. He passed away after surgery in July and I was devastated. Most of you don’t know about that but I mourned for a long time.

But it meant that I would stay here and keep my job at The Citizen — apparently — indefinitely. When I asked Cal how long he could keep me in this position he said something like, “‘Until you fall out of your chair and can’t do it any more ... but you better finish your pages first!” I guess he meant it and I’m still here, meeting all you terrific people via email, editing your stuff and posting your pictures. Without all of you, we wouldn’t even have a religion section. It’s your stories, your announcements, your photos that make it come alive.

I am so proud of all of you who have “learned” to write a good announcement and, most of all, how to submit quality, high resolution photos. I will not name names this time because I know I would leave someone out, but you know who you are. Thank you from the deepest part of my heart.

Although I’m trying to retire, it looks like it won’t be too soon. I will turn 74 in April but I’m still going strong. Keep those announcements coming and I’ll keep on seeing to it that your news gets in the paper. You guys are the greatest! Happy New Year!!

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