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Huber: Great paper, greater community experience

Wow, how do you find the right words when you realize that after over three decades, it’s time to say good-bye?

It renders me almost speechless.

Some of you already know that my last day with the West Fargo Pioneer will be on Friday. Those of you who don’t will certainly be aware after reading the story in today’s paper.

The truth of the matter is how can you condense 30 years into 2,000 words? I’ve never been one for self-promotion, but my former co-worker, mentor and good friend, Mary Nelson did a great job.

All I can say is it seems like only yesterday I walked through the door of the old building on Sheyenne Street that housed the weekly newspaper. It was a cold call, no application, no resume, no nothing, just an interview with founder-owner Don Witham, who graciously found the time to get to know me better.

I must have impressed him in some little way because he called me a short while later to say I was hired.

It turned out to be one of the best cold calls I ever made. I was quickly welcomed into the Pioneer-Midweek fold and hit the streets running — challenged by everything the new job offered up as well as the people meeting opportunities it presented.

The front row seat my West Fargo Pioneer connection provided me was a pleasure to fill, whether it was attending a meeting, conducting an interview, or engaged in idle conversation with anyone who had a story idea to share or simply wanted to visit.

The years have definitely zoomed by quickly.

Fast forward and it seems almost unfathomable just how quickly — a true whirlwind adventure filled with new challenges, new experiences, and a community of truly wonderful people committed to and passionate about the town in which they work and live always willing to help make the news or at least read it on a weekly basis as dedicated subscribers.

Since I have announced my departure I have been amazed and gratified by the outpouring of phone calls and emails from colleagues and friends, offering kind words, wishing me the best and thanking me for my years with the Pioneer.

I am the one that should be saying thank you.

All the support and respect is appreciated more than any of you can ever imagine and I leave feeling humbled but proud by any positive contributions I may have made.

My roots in the West Fargo community run deep and that commitment will continue.

So this is really isn’t good-bye, instead we will be seeing you around.

Here’s wishing everyone I have had the privilege of crossing paths with a heartfelt thank you and best wishes for a joyous holiday season.