The long parade of buy out recipients is nearly at an end. The final four will be leaving at the end of June.
Vertie Brewer, Bruce Edwards, Rickey Hampton and Dan Schantz are bringing up the rear of the parade that started last November and December with Gary Piatek and me. I think the final count is about 80 employees, 40 some from the editorial department, who have taken the money and ran for the hills. For some reason I couldn't make the picture of the four (at the top) any larger.
Because I will be in Alaska (hey, I wanted to have a little fun with my big check) when the party for Vertie, Bruce, Rickey and Dan is held, I just wanted to note the end of an era.
I particularly want to thank Vertie, the head of personnel, for all his kindnesses over the years. It had to be hard to oversee the flood of buy outs and retirements during the past six months and Vertie was a class act about it, even as he knew his career was coming to an end.
Bruce Edwards, who was a photographer when I started in 1989, became a talented videographer in the era of the new media at the Journal.
Bruce was a kind person who I never saw angry and who was always willing to go the extra mile.
Rickey was a columnist for the paper who waxed on issues of sports and community during his long career. I didn't always agree with Rickey, but he was always friendly to me and we shared a number of fruitful conversations. Rickey brought a needed perspective to the paper, one that will be interesting to see how they replace.
Dan Schantz I ran into occasionally, but to him and all others leaving I wish much success and happiness in life after the Journal.
In case you're in town, the party for all four is at Bubba O'Malley's, 1076 S. Belsay Road in Burton on June 26 from 5 p.m. until they throw them out.
Good luck guys.