Even after five years and one invented staff position, I’m still not ready to write this goodbye letter. But write it I must, especially since Mary Beth made me promise not to purposely fail my classes this semester and to return to YSU only once I’ve earned a Ph.D. and have been hired as a faculty member.
So, I suppose it’s time to write the darn thing.
I started officially working at The Jambar at the beginning of my sophomore year of undergrad. I’m now two weeks away from finishing my master’s degree.
Today is the very last Jambar production day of my entire life, and I still can’t quite grasp the idea that after today, I’ll never again spend my Monday and Wednesday evenings in the basement of Fedor Hall, consuming far too much caffeine and cleaning up everyone else’s copy (and loving every single freaking minute of it).
Seriously, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend the past five years doing what I love, in a place that I love, with people who I love. For those of you who are lucky enough to stick around this office for at least a little while longer, here’s some advice: Love The Jambar (and the AP Stylebook). Cherish The Jambar (and the AP Stylebook).
But, above all, don’t screw up my newspaper.
(P.S. The following goodbyes are in no particular order. I love you all equally.)
Cassy Twoey: Woman, can I just say that I am so unbelievably proud of you?! I remember your very first interview for The Jambar (and I how I forced Mary Beth to let me sit in on it). You impressed me even then with your love for editing (it’s just not something that a whole lot of people get into). Since then, I’ve loved working with you and getting to know you. You’re going to be a fantastic editor-in-chief. Promise me that you’ll stay in touch … and that you’ll forward me all the cute Grumpy Cat things you find even after I graduate. Let’s get our nails did with cats and pizzas.
Mary Dota: Thank you for feeding me (and for always remembering my love for queso).
Justin Mitchell: I’m pretty sure that one of the first significant conversations we had involved you telling me that if I got picked to be news editor, I’d get my very own desk (a pretty exciting prospect, I have to admit). I’m glad that someone else understands why emoting over Bob Dylan is a thing — and doesn’t find it totally weird when I feel the need to dissect the lyrics of, like, every song off “Blood on the Tracks” at the bar. I like that you encourage this behavior. Let’s grow up to be tragic whoremonger poets.
Brian Cetina, Chelsea Pflugh, Adam Rogers and Sarah Sole: You four are together in this goodbye letter because you embody the “good old days” of The Jambar. You were the ones who made me love working here, and, even when you left, you’re the ones who made me want to keep working hard, just so I wouldn’t let you down. I’ll never forget Jambar karaoke nights (especially the ones that I got kicked out of for being underage).
Doug Livingston: Doug, you’re amazing. You’ve always inspired me to do my very best (simply because none of us can even come close to your journalistic prowess), and I miss your presence in my life, especially your “fake” yelling. It was helpful, I promise.
Josh Stipanovich: Joshua, I’m so excited to start working with you again, but this time at The Vindicator. We have to listen to Christmas music even when it’s sort of inappropriate to do so. I like that you get how calming it is.
Lamar Salter: Six years ago, you were in my very first class at YSU. Obviously, it was the start of a beautiful friendship. In the years since, we’ve shared, um, a lot. Like dranky dranks. And a deep and abiding love for “Money Trees.” And ALL THE FEELS. Really, though, I’m so happy that we not only endured undergrad together, but grad school as well (even if, at times, we were convinced that it was the worst decision of all time). You have to promise me that we’ll always be in touch (‘cause we’re good at encouraging each other to make bad decisions). I mean, we’re still going to work together at Salter Torisk Donofrio, right?
Dan Pompili: Many, many moons ago (at a Jambar karaoke night, I presume), you introduced me to the heaven that is a gin and tonic. Now, whenever I drink a “Christmas Tree,” I think of only you. Thanks for always listening to my crazy rants at your desk and for being the Crazy Cat Dude to my Crazy Cat Lady. I will forever treasure the photo of you wearing my mom’s pearls around your ears on the night of graduation. Let’s get ‘tinis soon.
Joe Giesy: Remember when you were the random dude who brought us ice cream one production night? And when we spent entire days of our lives Chatroulette-ing? And when we planned our missed connections business? Ah, the good old days. But, seriously, you’re a good dude, and I’m glad to know you.
Josh Medore: Promise me that you’ll take good care of my desk. I might need to visit it from time to time, just to make sure. Also, we’re going to a live showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” OK? I hope you always remember my catching-the-baseball giggle. That sounds awkward.
Rachael Kerr: Just so you know, I completely trust you to take over as The Jambar’s copy editor, and I bequeath to you years and years of copy editing tests and reminders (but you’ll get ‘em only once I clean out my desk, which might take a while). Remember to always keep the AP Stylebook close by and to treat it as your bible. Good luck!
Jenna Medina: One day, we’ll figure out the mystery of 14night, and it will change the world. We’ll also have a crochet party at some point and crochet all the jellyfish. I’ll miss your mad yoga skills, along with your backbreaking hugs. Let’s go camping this summer.
Lacey Arnold: Lacey, Lacey, Lacey. Let’s repeat our crochet party/karaoke disaster soon. We have impeccable taste in song choices. Unicorn teari forever!
Mitchell Thornton: I promise that I’ll start running someday. And, when I do, I’m gonna find you, and you’re gonna train me. It’ll be intense. I’m looking forward to it.
Sam Marhulik: Let’s karaoke Alanis soon.
Jordan Uhl: Dearest Jordan: You owe me three years of good snacks and perhaps a guac talk (even if you are — gasp! — a dipper, not a scooper). We’ve had some great chats, especially on the Fedor Hall lawn. I’m still sad that we never got around to decking out the lawn with our kiddie pool, picket fence, pink flamingos, etc. Stay in touch, especially after you move to D.C. I’m gonna make you some seitan. Wanna make out, bruh? Also, wanna see my Flickr?
Chris Cotelesse: Christopher (or Cuddwy Chwis), I’m deeply saddened that this might very well be the last time I hear you sing Meat Loaf in The Jambar office (but you most definitely need to jump on another bar and sing a heartfelt rendition of “I’d Do Anything For Love [But I Won’t Do That] very soon). Thank you for putting up with my incessant sighing about, well, everything and for helping to make “Steel Valley,” which is perhaps the greatest film of all time. I’m sorry that you never got to find out exactly what makes Struthers Struthers (but am glad that you enjoyed the director’s cut anyway). Promise me that even after you land an amazing job in an amazing place and win all kinds of amazing journalism awards, you’ll make time to drunkenly love Youngstown with me. We can even sing the songs that you want to sing. Like “Ignition (Remix).”
Kevin Buck, Paris Chrisopoulos and Keeley Black: You three have saved my life. I owe you dinner and (a lot of) drinks. Please don’t forget to take me up on this offer.
David Roberts: We need to discuss Taylor Swift. Now.
Pat Donovan: I can’t count up quite how many nights we spent deliriously singing Meat Loaf in the Jambar office. They were the best of times. And the worst of times. But I’m glad you were there.
Andrew Bush: Oh, Press Day. I hope my replacement in the fall isn’t as awesome as I was. Just kidding. Kind of.
Frank George: Ah! You love Bruce. I love Bruce. That is great.
Elizabeth Boon: I love that we became friends in a Kansas City bathroom during a Jambar trip, and I love that we’re still friends who, oddly enough, continue to have weird bonding experiences in bathrooms. Like photo shoots where we discuss Sylvia Plath. Anyway, you’re the best braid mother. Love you.