Thank You for A Fantastic Year
Today is Easton Patch's first birthday.
I created the "Editor's Notebook" column topper when Easton Patch launched with the thought that I might occasionally chime in. Perhaps I could use it as a platform to write about my experience covering Easton, an event I attended, or an opinion I had.
I quickly learned that while my intentions were good, my idea for thought-sharing was better in theory than in reality for a few reasons:
1. For every experience or event, there is someone out there who can explain it better than I can.
2. The opinions that really matter are the those of the experts - the town officials, policemen, firefighters, teachers, coaches, business owners, workers or residents themselves.
Today, though, is different. There is some reflection, thanking and boasting in order. Today, Oct. 7, 2011, is the year anniversary of the launch of Easton Patch.
I moved to Easton in mid-August last year and began working for Patch on Aug. 23. A few months later, Easton Patch was born - a fresh faced new source for news, information, and community events - and a platform for conversation in Easton. It was the community in digital form.
And, it was my job to run the site and cover the town.
I'm often asked how an up-to-the-minute, daily, website could possibly be dedicated to just one small town like Easton.
"There is not enough to cover in one town," one might say.
You'd be surprised.
In fact, this past year has reaffirmed my love for journalism for what it is: a tribute to humanity; its accomplishments, its emotions, its hardships and its endeavors.
Of course, humanity is not always good
In the past year I have stood by while a family watched its house burn to the ground, spoken with a mourning family in search of peace and justice after a son and brother was killed, watched as a murder was uncovered and a family mourned the loss of a mother, and spoken to grieving young women who lost a friend in a terrible motor vehicle accident.
However, I have also seen people turn their own tragedies into good for others through funds for underprivileged student athletes, a wiffle-ball tournament to help benefit the town, or a traffic light to make sure others are safe.
I've seen a coach hold back tears as she spoke with pride about her two captains, the grins on parents as their children received high school diplomas and a group of firefighters teach 7-year-olds the importance of fire-safety.
I've seen more than I could have imagined in just one year. And, I've done it all while staying in-between the Hockomock Swamp and Borderland State Park.
But this isn't about me. Patch is about you - the Easton resident - what you care about. And it is my job to provide it. I have to say, it has been a privilege and an honor for the past year and I am looking forward to the next year.
I certainly did not do it by myself.
Everyone who has ever contributed to Easton Patch over the past year deserves a "thank-you." Without the writers, photographers, videographers, bloggers, commenters and emailers, Patch wouldn't be the success that it is today.
Reporters like Candace Hall and Theresa Knapp have always provided top-notch, well-reported and well-written content.
Ross Muscato, who has been writing three columns a week for Easton Patch since day one, deserves a special thank you for his knowledge and insight into the Easton community and his invaluable contributions to Easton Patch over the past year. His columns are, and will continue to be, a staple of this website.
Bob Havey deserves a similar thank-you. Through humor, wisdom, and his shared experiences, Bob helped build Patch to where it is today.
Our sports editor Tim Rosenthal is at Muscato Stadium and Nixon Gymnasium more often than any person with the exception of perhaps Oliver Ames High School Athletic Director Jim Von Euw. His work and efforts have provided sports coverage to a community that loves its Tigers.
Over the past 12 months, Easton Patch has evolved. New features have come and gone, we've seen different columnists and writers and different looks to the homepage. Everything has made Easton Patch what it is today while establishing a foundation for a future where the possibilities are endless.
I sincerely hope Easton Patch has changed the way you view this incredible community and altered the way you receive information or provide it to your neighbors - whether it be from watching two selectmen candidates debate the issues, keeping track of a destructive hurricane through twitter or following high school football coverage through a live blog.
We've done a lot in a year - but there is plenty more to do. We are ever-changing and ever-growing and we hope that you will continue to change and grow with us.
And, I hope that you will continue to change and grow with me. Thank you for a fantastic year. Now, on to Year Two.