Thinking back, I'm drawn to my first assignment for this newspaper. It was a stock car race at the Imperial Valley Speedway and I remember talking to Tony Lentz after the race. He must have been the winner, for I don't think there is any other reason I would have been interviewing him.
I remember feeling a great deal of satisfaction as I left the fairgrounds that night. I was satisfied that I had done a decent job, I was glad to have the chance to write and mostly, I was happy the races were over with so I could get to the Owl and meet my friends. It is that same feeling that has embraced me as I write this final Tomb.
You see, I am glad to have had the opportunity to do this job. In my time I have witnessed many a great athletic moment in the Imperial Valley. I can fondly look back on seeing Robert Thomas's final high school game, his first game at UCLA and (through the magic of television) his final game at UCLA. I have seen a classic Bell Game (the 1998 version), some tough-fought basketball contests (the Brawley-Central ones from a couple years back being my favorites) and some fine San Diego Section semifinal softball. So as far as high points go, I'm hardly lacking.
In my capacity at this paper, I have obviously gotten the opportunity to write. This, of course, meant that I have angered some of you, made others happy and probably bored others to tears. It seems that what I'm most appreciative of is that I got the chance to write at all. It certainly has been a fine learning experience for a guy who still holds out hope that he'll one day be regarded as a real writer.
Of course, there has been one other thing that I have enjoyed, perhaps more than the previous two, about my time here and that thing is the people I have had the good fortune to meet. From my co-workers on the editorial staff to the guys in the back who put this paper out every day, it has been a pleasure to work at the Imperial Valley Press.
It has not just been my co-workers, however. Coaches Mike Swearingen and Jim Sturgeon have made the past few football seasons a real treat for me and I won't stop there. I also would like to thank the local athletic directors and coaches who have all helped this department bring you the best coverage of local sports that we possibly could.
I thought about making a list of names, but it just might take up an entire page. I would, however, like to take this chance to thank the Brawley Union High School boys basketball coach for all of the fine letters he has sent to us over the years. We at the I.V. Press sports department have certainly appreciated your support.
And so, before this all gets too sentimental, I shall return to that final feeling I had upon completion of my first assignment at this newspaper. You remember, the one of happiness, for now I can go meet my friends (at least the few who remain) at the Owl.
In closing I would just like to say thank you to all of you (even those of you who feel you've been slighted). You've made the past years fly by. It has truly been an honor to help serve this community. Thank you for all of your support.
And so with a great sigh and a heavy heart, we pull the great stone door shut.
The Tomb is closed.