As I complete my first full year as editor of New Milford Patch, it's hard to remember that I landed here last year a stranger in an even stranger land--I mean--Republicans! Who'd a thunk? They were just urban myths in the territory I had previously covered.
I arrived in New Milford with no one knowing who I was. I arrived with no past to connect me to the present. I was Tracy Montgomery's replacement and the only thing I was sure of was that I had some mighty big shoes to fill. (And for those of you who know me, shoes are very, very important!)
My goal for 2012 had been to gain the trust and confidence of New Milford by telling stories that accurately reflected the events as they occurred. What is most important to me is getting the story right, not getting it out first.
And what a year for stories it was! From all those late night Hekemian meetings, to the Chicken Outlaw, to Hurricane Sandy-- New Milford has kept me abundantly busy. So busy that my son regularly tells my daughter, "Stand by the window and wave. Mom's doing a drive-by." But I have loved every single minute of it.
I absolutely love what I do because every day I have the opportunity to meet so many of you; everyday you entrust me with the telling of your stories. And I am honored. Over the course of one year, I have gained new confidences and made wonderful new friends. Now, as the old year ends and a new one begins, I am certain of one thing--I am blessed to be here.
As I look forward to the new year, I cannot help but reflect upon how far New Milford has taken me. As I reflect on the year gone by, there is so much I have learned and so many I have to thank:
- Get your acronyms right--never confuse SOD with FOD although the two may at times overlap, they are separate and distinct.
- When a group of utility workers from Kansas comes to New Milford to assist in restoring power and ask if they should take their shirts off for the picture you're about to take, think long and hard before answering 'no' or suffer the disappointment of many, many New Milford women.
- Sitting on the wooden benches in borough hall's council chambers for endless meetings will numb every body part and if you stand up fast, your body will betray you in ways extremely unflattering.
- Special Zoning Board meetings should come with a toothbrush and continental breakfast.
- DelVecchio is the last name of Hekemian's attorney and the Chicken Outlaw. To confuse the two can make for great conversation, but that's how rumors start. (Hekemian's raising chickens?)
- Brookchester is still Dante's Fifth Circle of Hell and navigating those roads the eternal mystery of my life.
- Thanks to the person who, knowing that every Zoning Board meeting interferes with my favorite t.v. show, hand delivered a Sons of Anarchy tee-shirt to me.
- Thanks to Maria and Maureen in the Building Department who continue to make land use law fun, fun, fun. Ladies--thank you for your endless laughter and for explaining that municipal land use book to me.
- Thank you to Super Sal whose insight is always spot on.
- And heartfelt thanks to that person in town who, knowing I never stop to eat, always has food waiting for me. You will be abundantly blessed in the afterlife.
Happy New Year New Milford!