Having accepted a position that will allow me to work full-time from home as a magazine editor, I’ll also be leaving the Guide at the end of this week. It’s difficult to sum up all the things I’ll miss because 11 years on the job certainly has brought a wide range of experiences.
One of the great advantages to working at a small paper has been the variety it offers me as a reporter. I’ve been able to climb scaffolding to watch the rehab of St. Casimir’s Church, and I’ve spent the night in the basement of a supposedly haunted bar. I’ve been to hearings for the liquor board and to meetings of numerous community associations. I’ve seen kids learn to fish and play tennis, and adults with disabilities learn bocce.
My first full week on the job was September 11, 2001. Each of us has a very personal and unique memory of that day, and I know mine is no exception. With a variety of reports coming in from every direction, we had trouble sorting out what was really happening from what was being rumored. It was like being inside a kaleidoscope where everything kept turning and shifting, and there was no way to find a balance.
Since that week, I’ve seen so many other changes, large and small. I’ve seen Catholic schools close one by one, and seen public schools reinvent themselves and achieve success as charter schools. I’ve seen the Baltimore Police cope with crime, trying to make our neighborhoods safer, and I’ve seen communities come together with rakes and bags and plants to make those same neighborhoods cleaner and more beautiful.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have enjoyed covering Baltimore’s crime. I don’t know why our area sees so much crazy activity (Really? She hit him with a burrito?) but it does.
Thanks to all those who have done things to make the area better and stronger. Whether you’re teaching the kids, walking the beat, sweeping an alley or putting on a program at the boat lake, it has been my priviledge to cover your work and I feel as though it’s not just the neighborhood that has been improved — it has been my view of people.
by Mary Helen Sprecher