My farewell note to the St. Petersburg Times

by Andy Boyle.

Before I leave here for the last time, I thought I’d post the note I sent to the newsroom. Anywho, I’ll write more later, but I just wanted to get this out there.

It’s been almost 17 months since I was first awed by the lobby of The St. Petersburg Times. My career here has been a mere blip on this paper’s incredible history, so I can only hope I added something of value during my time here. I certainly hope I at least occasionally made you smile.

While these are trying times for our industry, I’m amazed by the product we put out on a daily basis. No one covers politics like we do. No one covers Florida like we do. And no one covers Tampa Bay anywhere near our level of excellence. This is indeed Florida’s Best Newspaper, which I think puts it in the running for best damn paper nationwide.

You’ve all been so kind to me during my short tenure and I just want to thank you all for that. To the copy editors who called me late and saved me from embarrassment, to graphic artists, photographers and designers who made my stories pleasant enough to read, and to the editors who helped shape my gobbledygook into readable prose: Thank you.

It’s been a joy to sit among such a fine group of not just journalists, but people. The paper has felt like a family at times, with some even inviting me over for holidays with their families when I couldn’t make it back home. (You know who you are, and I thank you, too.) The communal food, planned potlucks and intense Rays enthusiasm helped to add to this place’s overall awesomeness.

I’ve wanted to work here ever since I heard Ben Montgomery talk in Omaha about narrative journalism three years ago. This sounded like an awesome place to work, and I made it a goal to get here. It’s been a dream, and I’m glad to have had the privilege to be a small part of this great organization.

Beers will be at Red Mesa Cantina at 6:30 p.m. tonight. And if you feel like keeping in touch, my e-mail is andymboyle@gmail.com. Or find me somewhere on the tweetblognets.

So folks, please keep on kicking ass and taking names. If you can inspire some kid from a small town in Nebraska, you know you’ve got to be changing the world for the better.

Live long and prosper,