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Bittersweet farewell

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By Jesse Osbourne

This is it, folks. This is my last column with The Lebanon Enterprise. Hey, stop that. I can hear your applause from here. That’s not nice.
Seriously though, this is my last issue as a sports correspondent for this paper.
Many of you are probably already aware of this but I recently took a job with The Springfield Sun across the border. Hey now, stop that booing and hissing. It’s not polite. Yes, I have been called worse than a turncoat. Thank you very much.
For two years I’ve been working part-time to cover athletics in Marion County as best as I know how.
Have there been shortcomings? Definitely.
Have people been slighted inadvertently? Probably so.
Have I taken my fair share of angry phone calls? You bet.
Despite that, I’ve given everything I have to this section. As any coach would say, I left it all out there on the field/court/ring.
Because of that, my faith in journalism has been renewed. I want to do this as a career for as long as the powers that be will let me (or until I get called up to play pro golf or baseball).
Before I took this job, I had lost that desire. I left my last job thinking I was done with journalism forever.
Luckily, two weeks later Stevie Lowery called and asked me to cover Marion County sports.
I think we (Stevie and I) both knew I would eventually leave, regardless of how well things were going. It’s a part-time job in a field that is not known for being lucrative.
It is, however, the best job in Marion County. Unless you taste chocolate and ice cream full time (and get paid a ridiculous amount of money to do it), your job is not more fun than mine has been.
I got paid to watch a game. Let that sink in.
Do you get paid to watch ESPN? Do you get paid to watch your niece play Candy Land? Do you get paid to watch your friend play Madden on Xbox?
Neither do I but, you get the point (though my wife should consider paying me to get the ‘Family Game Night’ started that she so desperately wants).
Why leave such a great job?
Well, my wife and I have drafted a rookie that’s due to be called up on May 2. Right now he or she is developing in the minor leagues. We can’t see our rookie but we hear that he or she is progressing at a good rate and is very healthy.
Believe it or not, we found it hard to justify drafting a rookie on a teacher and part-time journalist’s combined salary.
Thus the reason I’m crossing the border and leaving this amazing job behind.
I owe many people many words of thanks. For fear of leaving someone out, I thank all of you that have ever helped make my job easier. I have enjoyed our conversations over the last two years.
My replacements are people that I trust to carry the flame. Josh and Jessica Veatch have been given the nod as the next sports correspondents for The Enterprise.
Josh is a MCHS alum and used to work as the stats guy for the Lebanon Lancers. Jessica (formerly Reynolds) is a former softball player and coach at MCHS.
Josh and I worked together recently to gather historical records for the Marion County football team. He has gathered a lot of information on all the other MCHS sports on his own. I hope he keeps the project going. I regret not being able to help him keep it going.
Josh cares immensely about Marion County athletics and I think the readers will see that immediately. I am excited for him to begin.
As the headline indicates, this is a bittersweet farewell.
I leave behind two great friends in Stevie Lowery and Stephen Lega. They are a talented duo and will no doubt continue to prosper in my absence as they did before my arrival.
The great people of this county have been supportive along the way. Your kind words never cease to surprise me.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for letting me tell your stories.