When I said I wanted a buyout from the Sun, some of the people I worked with said it was the end of an era.
Maybe. But if it is it's only one in a long line of "ends of eras."
The first era ended with the ouster of Doug Creighton and there's been a string of them since, although they tended to bunch up the last few years - so much so that there seemed to be more "ends" than space in between them.
I have always loved the Sun. It opened a new door when another one was being slammed shut behind me. It was 1985 and I was offered two part-time jobs, one as a proofreader and another as mail-room sorter. I took both.
I became a full-time proofreader in '86, and thanks to the generosity (or temporary insanity) of John Paton a News desk copy-editor in '87.
A short tangent. I had a meeting in '85 with then HR boss Carl O'Byrne, during which he asked me what I thought I might do at the Sun. I said I wanted to try my hand at copyediting. He laughed, saying copyeditors were trained at J-school, which I'd never attended. Our meeting ended.
A couple of years later, after I'd been on the News desk, I saw him at a Sun party. He made a point of congratulating me and giving me a hug. It was a lesson to me of the open heart of the Sun.
The people I have worked with, in every department except Sports, have been the most generous with their time and expertise, the kindest, most hard-working, dedicated, fun, and pound-for-pound most talented souls I have ever known in my working life.
My 27 years there has had a profound effect on me and I do miss you all.