COLUMN: Thank you, Lake of the Ozarks
After 6 1/2 years at the Lake Sun, this may be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done- say goodbye.
From the very first day I walked into the newsroom on February 16, 2015 and immediately got to work on writing a brief story on a Macks Creek girls basketball game, it has been my incredible honor and privilege to tell your stories and capture your memories. The Lake of the Ozarks has a rich tradition and wonderful history when it comes to high school and recreational sports and it was so much fun to learn about them in my time here.
As a graduate right out of college, I am so incredibly grateful I got to start my career in a place like this. I came here as a stranger, not really knowing anyone or much about the area, and my colleagues in the newsroom and all the incredible people I’ve had the privilege of meeting here made me feel right at home from day one.
To all the athletic directors, school administrators, coaches and athletes I met along the way, I cannot thank you enough for your time and willingness to open up and share your thoughts and perspectives with me- especially through the COVID-19 pandemic. Your professionalism and courtesy made each day a little easier for me and I will always be grateful for and remember that.
To all our readers who may have even read just a single story, thank you for time and interest and support of local journalism. Your engagement is vital to keeping a community informed and your comments or addresses of any corrections that needed to be made has helped myself and our newsroom stay sharp and on task.
My editor, Joyce Miller, once told me that anything I put together should be worthy of hanging up on a refrigerator. That is the goal I set out with each day, and hope I lived up to, with this amazing responsibility I was given. If you love what you do, it will never truly feel like work, and I can say I was lucky enough to be one of those people each and every day.
During my time in college, I had the opportunity to do a story on a local sports broadcaster who covered over 4,000 local high school games over the course of four decades. I thought it might be fun to keep track of the events I covered as I started out my own career, and it has been as I’ve proudly reported on over 500 of them in my time here. The experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met here have enriched my life, and I believe, have made me a better person. This is truly, a special, special place I will always hold near and dear to my heart.
I have recently found a new opportunity with a marketing and consulting agency in St. Louis that works with non-profits and I am excited to embark on this new adventure. As I move to a new chapter in my professional career, I will definitely smile as I think about the past six years. I may visit the Lake area from time to time, so I don’t intend to be a complete stranger. If there is any proper way to say goodbye, there is an old song by Vera Lynn that comes to mind with a few lyrics I think would be somewhat fitting:
“We’ll meet again. Don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com or 573-346-2132