5. And on the OurTowns and local news pages, I've witnessed up-close-and-personal the impact of so many fine folks who live here — from the hard work of our governments; of our police, firefighters and other emergency responders; to our great college and the awesome people who study and work there; and the many clubs, churches and organizations that do works of kindness here. I've been lucky to meet and work with so many of you. It's not easy to step away!
Nor is it easy to leave all the fine, talented folks currently working at the Trib. They'll keep telling your stories and doing it well.
Though it's time for me to step away from the Trib's newsroom, I don't really plan to settle down much. I have a wonderful family and I plan — as is the mantra you hear from many retirees — to spend more time with them. My wife, Joyce, and I are both Tribune veterans, a combined total of 68 years! She worked days in Advertising, I was here nights in Editorial. We finally "met" at a Tribune Valentine's party, and a mere 13 years later we married. My stepson Steve and his wife Jill have given us much love and two beautiful granddaughters. Lucky me; I'm not sure I deserve it, but I'll take it!
I'm also hoping there are many photo assignments coming my way. That passion won't fade anytime soon. Granddaughter Malina (at 5-foot-9 and just turned 13) plays for the North Hills Middle School basketball team at Pittsburgh — photos guaranteed there.
The Tribune ran an interesting page-one story a few months ago. A young man on the Allegheny College football team had experienced a personal tragedy. He overcame it, and now had moved on through the years with great success. But when his days were at their lowest, he had some long talks with his coach, Mark Matlak. The coach's ultimate advice was to "play the next play." If you get a dull moment, think about that — it's much bigger than "carry on."