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Monkey Business

Moment of change

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. -M. Scott PeckPerhaps my finest moment hasn’t arrived, but launching The New Falcon Herald has brought me darn close. Tonight, as I try to come up with the right words to express myself, I am – in the words of Peck – feeling uncomfortable, unhappy and scared that I will never find the same fulfillment again that I’ve experienced with the NFH.In my heart though, I know it’s time for a change.Many of you know I’ve been living in Florida for the past 18 months. I’ve flown back to Colorado on occasion, but during my last trip to Falcon I couldn’t believe the growth that was taking place in my little prairie town. I felt like I was losing touch with the community.A few months ago, I decided that to be fair to myself, the team and the community; it was time to sell my share of the newspaper. My partner Michelle has acquired control of the NFH.So, I reluctantly fade into the sunset as co-owner, co-publisher and editor, and I take wonderful memories with me.I lived in Falcon for the final eight of the 27 years I spent in Colorado.In the late ’90s I moved to a home on five acres in Falcon – after my animal menagerie became too large for the city. I never dreamed I would enjoy living so far from city life. It took me a year before I appreciated the prairie.I had moved to Falcon from Palmer Lake, so oftentimes on a Friday or Saturday night that first year I would drive to the Tri-Lakes area and have dinner with my friends. I remember driving back late at night to Falcon via Woodmen Road, feeling isolated and unnerved by the darkness. No car lights and only the moon and the stars to guide me home.But slowly I found those city lights and clusters of stores annoying. Instead, I found peace in the vast sky, the view of the mountains framing the prairie and, of course, those incredible sunsets.However, for as long as I had lived in Colorado, one thing was always missing: the water. I grew up on the lakes in Indiana. I could swim before I could count to 10. I lived for hot, steamy summers.”My soul belongs to the sea” is a phrase from a poem I wrote a long time ago about my love for the water. In 1981, I moved to California from Colorado, but I ended up coming back – long story. In the ’90s I had attempted a move to Florida, but the timing apparently wasn’t right – another long story. However, in the spring of 2005, my friend Denny and I took a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida and down through the Keys. He fell in love with Key West, and it didn’t take too much to convince me when he said, “Let’s do it.” In March 2006, I packed up my cats and dogs, rented an RV and hit the road. I sold my house in Falcon, and here we are. We’re not in Key West – but it’s a shorter drive.For the last 18 months I’ve been able to maintain my role as co-publisher and editor of the NFH from a distance. I could not have done so without Alicia Littlejohn, Angie Morlan, Kathy Hare, Kathleen Wallace, Stefani Wiest, Stacie Ledden, Jeff Hansen and, of course, my partner Michelle. Partnerships are difficult – especially when one is calm and patient and the other is NOT! I’m also grateful to the sales team – Kris Stonestreet and Don Josleyn.But I have to credit my writers. No other community newspaper editor in the world could live more than 1,400 miles away and feel confident about stories and deadlines. My writers gave me that confidence. They are brilliant, curious, dependable, caring and they’ve become great friends of mine.And they may not know it, but they saved me from becoming a total recluse.One of my greatest experiences as a reporter with the Colorado Springs Business Journal was sitting around the newsroom bantering with my colleagues about the issues of the day. And an even greater experience with the NFH was hashing out stories with the NFH writing team at Espresso at Stratfords every month.However, during the past 18 months, I’ve felt like I’ve been quarantined in my home office. My only connection to that newsroom addiction has been my team of writers.No matter how successful we are at creating those “finest moments,” they are quickly lost without a team, without friendships. I’ve made many friends in Falcon, and I’m so thankful for everyone’s support in helping to build this newspaper.Although this is the last of the Monkey Chronicles for now, I will still be involved with the NFH team as a contract editor. Replacing this column starting with the Nov. 3 issue is Wild Hare, Kathy Hare’s monthly column. Kathy’s a prolific writer, and I humbly concede this column to her.In some capacity, I know I will always be an editor. To reiterate the words of Scott Peck, I’ll always be seeking “truer answers,” for I believe that knowledge and understanding is vital to achieving those finest moments, individually and as a society.I take pride in knowing that The New Falcon Herald has been committed to truth.Finally, I truly believe that the NFH has been successful because the people of Falcon wanted a sense of community. I take pride in having been a catalyst in helping to bring that sense of community to Falcon. This experience truly has been one of my finer moments.Thank you for everything, and I wish you all great moments.-marylou@newfalconherald.com

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