The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 15, 2013

Herald's chicken lady says farewell

CLINTON — Our lives are like the chapters of a book. Each crisp page we turn is like a new day in our lives.

A new chapter in my book of life will start on Monday when I no longer will get up at 3:30 a.m. to get ready for work at the Clinton Herald.

On Friday, I will turn the last page in that chapter. After 11 1/2 years, I will put out my last issue. Leaving is never easy and new beginnings are always scary, but I have faith that the next chapter will be a good one.

Even though I sat at the same desk, and chair, for more than a decade, my roles at the paper changed as did the industry as a whole. And through it all, I met and worked with some amazing people who I’m proud to call my friends.

Even though most of my co-workers from the very beginning have moved on to other things like editors Scott Holland, Larry Brennan and Ted Schultz, I still remember the good times and laughs we had as if it was yesterday. One of my fondest memories is when I used to arrive at the Herald around 5 a.m. and be greeted with a smile and “Good Morning” from Schultz, who was the former sports editor.

I always will remember the morning banter we had in the newsroom; we had some fun times. There were days I laughed so hard I cried. I can thank those guys for that. With any job, especially stressful ones, it is important to have humor on a daily basis.

Even though no job is perfect and there have been bumps along the way, I really loved my job and the work I did at the Herald. Friday will definitely be a difficult day and very hard to say goodbye.

Over the course of my 11 1/2 years with the Herald, I have had many personal changes. I built a house in the country, developed a very green thumb, raised chickens and got married. Now, that’s a lot of change.

One of the best aspects of my job has been writing this column for more than four years and the encouragement I received on a weekly basis from Associate Editor Scott Levine.

I can’t thank you enough — my readers — for inviting me into your homes every Wednesday afternoon. Because of this column, I’ve had the opportunity to share my love of chickens with a lot of people. I would have never guessed that chickens would have been my claim to fame, but, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I have enjoyed giving chicken programs to various organizations in Clinton as well as residents at the Sarah Harding Home and youngsters at the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center.

I have received a lot of letters and gifts over the years from readers that have really touched my heart. One of my readers gave me some chicken figurines that once belonged to her mother and another bought me an exotic chicken calendar so the girls would have some artwork in the coop.

My columns have taken many twists and turns from recalling my grandparents’ old farmhouse, dancing around my kitchen with my steam mop named Freddy, caring for my beloved sheltie, buying a swimsuit and critter-proofing my chicken coop. It’s definitely been one wild and crazy adventure with chickens at the helm.

As I move forward, I will look back at my time with the Herald with pride. I will never forget my co-workers who have become some of my closest friends and I will never forget all of you. Goodbye.

Angie Gabriel was employed with the Clinton Herald from 2001 to 2013.

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