“Such is the patriot’s boast, where’er we roam, his first, best country ever is, at home.”
~ OLIVER GOLDSMITH
The best advice I ever heard about writing came from a movie. Sean Connery’s character in ‘Finding Forrester’ said “You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is to write, not to think!”
So that’s what I’m doing. Because thinking about how to say goodbye, when I’m going home, is too difficult for my mind to grasp.
Twenty two years ago when I signed my name on the dotted line I had no idea where my journey would take me. I couldn’t even dream of places like Song Ton Si, South Korea. Lakenheath, England. Istres, France. Brindisi, Italy. Ahmed Al Jabar, Kuwait. Sheik Isa, Bahrain. And the ever so easy to pronounce Bystřice pod Hostýnem in the Czech Republic. Now, my story is incomplete without those destinations.
But they were merely stops along the journey. Way stations as I traveled to “the cradle of Texas liberty”. San Antonio. For nearly seventeen years I have made my life and my living here. In that time one marriage failed, another came and went. I had my heart broken and perhaps broke a couple myself. Some dreams were realized while others were dashed.
It’s hard to imagine living in one place for the better part of two decades and never calling it home. When people would say “Oh, you’re from Texas.” I was quick to tell them “No, I just live there. I’m from Nebraska.” Sure, this made me sound like a bit of a jackass. But to me it was an important distinction. Because for all that Texas has given me, it could never replace the one thing I hold closest to my heart. Being a Nebraskan.
Turns out though, it’s not that simple.
When I think of parting with so many of you it makes my heart hurt and my eyes get misty. The last few years here have been some of the best of my life. When I first met most of you I was in a deep hole of an emotional abyss. But through friendships, old & new, my community helped pull me out and set me back on solid ground.
So when I leave this city I know that a part of me is now a San Antonian. I know this because leaving hurts. A lot.
If you’re reading this then chances are that our paths have crossed at some point. I hope you know that I am all the richer for it. Unless you’re a San Antonio Spur, then I want you to know what a colossal waste of space I think you are. Please find the nearest hole and bury yourself in it…. But after that, it’s all love.
For those that I’ve worked with at the Air Force News Agency & KSAT 12, I hope you know how honored I was to be among your ranks. You made me better. You made me fearless. You made me confident enough to handle any challenge the job throws at me. But more than the work, I’ll remember the friendships. My mentors Bob Jones & Greg Simmons did more for me than they will ever know and I’m forever in their debt.
For those I met away from the bizarre world of broadcasting, I thank you for giving me a more well rounded existence. When I started spending time with people who didn’t know a VO from a drop frame, I found myself griping less and listening more. No one will ever confuse me for a power player, but I know I traveled with San Antonio’s true elite. The smart ones, the funny ones, the ones with heart. You embraced me and I am forever grateful. You will always be a part me.
To all of you I say so long but not goodbye. Take care. And I will see you later.
Your friend & 1/16th San Antonian,