I’ve been putting off retiring for over a year; however, now it is time for me to say goodbye.
I’ve come full circle since my first job out of Cal State Bakersfield as I was the editor for the Wasco Tribune beginning in November 2005.
Fred West was the mayor with council members Tilo Cortez, Larry Pearson, Danny Espitia and Cheryl Wegman. Gary Bray was the superintendent of the WUESD. I believe Elizabeth McCray was superintendent of the WUHSD at the time.
In 2006 I left Wasco for Tehachapi for what I thought was greener pastures, but it didn’t turn out to be that way.
In 2005 in Wasco, I was able to work with City Manager Larry Pennell, City Clerk Vicky Hight and Administrative Assistant Kathy Krause.
After Reed Print went out of business, I remember how excited I was to get the call from Michael Schroeder to write some articles for the Wasco Tribune in 2018. It felt like I was coming home.
In fact, I believe in 2008 while I was working for Reed Print’s Lamont and Arvin papers, I was asked by them to cover the Wasco Rose Festival because there wasn’t an editor for the paper at that time.
While covering that festival weekend, Vicki Hight had just been named Wasco Recreation and Parks District manager.
Reed Print sold the Wasco Tribune and Shafter Press to new owners and I was asked if I wanted to write a couple of stories for the paper. I was thrilled and the rest is history.
Upon returning to Wasco in 2018, I was connected with Orquidea Ocampo on behalf of the Orange Heart Foundation. We met at the Little League diamond because it was opening day and that was my first story. My connections snowballed from that meeting on.
In 2020, I made Wasco my home because I truly believed that was the only way I could become a legitimate member of the community.
I’ve covered a variety of stories, some good (Rose Queen, Wasco Reserve, Wasco Festival, Christmas, Toys for Tigers and some sporting events) and some very sad times (Danny Rueda’s passing, Dr. James Forrest’s passing, Cesar Marquez’s passing, the Garza family vehicle tragedy, the loss of Deputy Phillip Campas). I’ve covered both the happy and sad stories and I feel privileged to have been able to do so. I’ve covered everything with what I hope was with empathy and compassion. I attended funerals as a friend instead of a reporter and I have donated to some worthy GoFundMe campaigns as a member of the Wasco community.
I felt the love when I had COVID when several people brought me groceries. I feel like I’ve built a special relationship with each person I’ve met.
Thank you everyone for helping me feel so welcome in my adopted city of Wasco.
Your pastors and priest have all been so welcoming to me inviting me into their church families.
The mayors and council members I’ve worked with have all been a delight to interact with. I will always treasure my connections with the mayors of Wasco for your trust in me as a friend and confident.
I’m going to miss everyone, but since I’m staying in Wasco, I hope to run into you at the store or an event that I can now attend for just fun. Please feel free to stop and say hi so we can catch up.
Because I’m a strictly a city girl, I especially want to thank Wasco High School FFA and Tony Farao for always bringing me up to date on important events and issues so that I could provide a dialog for what was happening. You’ve given me an awakening into agriculture and farm animals and how hard FFA students work.
Each and every student I’ve met in both school districts has always been polite to me. Parents, you’ve done a good job teaching your kids respect.
I also want to thank Sharon Sharp for her help with information I didn’t know I would need at times.
Thank you Hailey Coyle for your help with the Rose pageant and school activities and making sure I knew about special events taking place.
Thank you everyone for your kindness and acceptance in this wonderful community called Wasco.
I hope I haven’t left anyone out.
I want to welcome Veronica Jacuinde as the new reporter for the Wasco Tribune. Veronica is very personable and engaging and I know you will all welcome her with open arms.