This is the final edition of The South Whidbey Record with my name listed as editor. For those of you thinking of chiseling my tombstone, the dates would be from November 1981 to October 2001, and then again from November 2012 to July 2013. I like to make things difficult for chiselers.
During the interlude I was editor of the Whidbey News-Times in Oak Harbor where I enjoyed covering the news and the people. It’s a different world up in Navy country, but an interesting one.
I came back to South Whidbey to finish my career, which ended a bit earlier than I anticipated. About the time I was fretting about my career’s demise, James Gandolfini dropped dead at an age considerably younger than mine. Thanks, James, for putting things in perspective.
Memories? It’s not a total blank. I remember Mick Heggenes’ great Falcon football teams of the mid ’80s, and Tom Felgar’s outstanding girls basketball teams of the same era, and John Knaplund’s incredible boys basketball teams. Looking back at it, the ’80s were the best of times for high school sports on South Whidbey.
I’ll also always remember Lorna Cherry’s tributes to veterans with songs from World Wars I and II, skits and her grandson dressed as a doughboy playing the trumpet. Corny, but cool.
Thanks too to the many dedicated teachers who helped raise our three daughters and all the people who helped put this newspaper out.
Double Bluff Park was created after much drama, along with Possession Beach Waterfront Park and Clinton Park. Next up is Mutiny Bay Park, thanks to Frank Robinson, and to top it all off was the years-long effort to build Community Park and Playground in the Park, not to mention all the Whidbey Camano Land Trust acquisitions. Island Transit was among our best success stories.
A new resident recently asked me what South Whidbey was like 30 years ago. She was surprised when I answered it is better now. WICA was another impressive South Whidbey accomplishment. Langley itself is better, with more businesses, buildings and stuff to do. The Clyde is going strong. Bring back the Dog House and we’ll be all set.
Space mercifully requires an end to this farewell. In conclusion, this newspaper really belongs to the South Whidbey community. Thanks for all your support and patience through the years. I can honestly say I never met a South Whidbey resident I didn’t like.
See you around.