Seven years ago today I walked into this office to become a publisher
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Seven years ago today I walked into this office to become a publisher. I had wanted that title for a long time. I endured five publisher changes at my hometown newspaper. Each time I was considered for the job but overlooked in the final decision.
So for that and many other reasons, I accepted the job as publisher of the Augusta Daily Gazette in one phone call. Not only did I never visit the town before taking the job, I never hung up my cell phone.
It was the best dumb decision I have ever made.
On Labor Day of 2007, I sped up I-35 toward my new home. I could never have anticipated what the next seven years would hold for me.
I still remember standing there in my black coat and tie and Belinda Larsen asking me if I was a Republican. Who knew that seven years later I would have to answer that question in the affirmative. I wonder if I will still be a Republican seven years from now – or seven weeks from now.
About six months after that fateful first day, I went from publishing one paper to two. Then I took over a third just in time to see one of those close. About a year after the Derby Reporter closed, we got the green light to open the Andover American. About 20 months later, that newspaper was part of a total county merger where we took three good small newspapers and merged them into one bigger, better product.
Soon after I went from three newspapers to one in the merger, I added responsibilities in Wellington.
It has been a wild ride.
But as wild as the ride in the office has been, my personal life has been just as crazy. Two trips to Ethiopia were not in my plans when I moved here seven years ago, but three years ago we added a fourth to our family dinner table and Dawit changed our lives forever.
I know that anytime you go from one child to two it can be life altering. But going from one to Dawit plus one takes that up a degree.
Looking back, it is hard to remember what life was like without him.
In the past seven years, I have traveled a long and winding road, but I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be.
I can only hope the next seven years are as fun and eventful as these have been.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org