Sunday, March 9, 2014

As one door closes ...

I remember well the day I took this picture.

I think the boat is the Bridgett Cauley, but that's not the important part. This was taken Sept. 15, 2010, the time of year when summer seques into fall. Kids are back in school, people are working, and I was ... unwanted. I had been out of work for more than a year, picking up a few dollars here and there selling my writing and my photos. It was a bad time to be an out-of-work journalist. It really hurt in many ways. I had been on top of the world, and then I was almost a nobody. Except, that is, to some riverboat folks who recognized the guy with the camera when they passed through Huntington or Point Pleasant WV.

So while I stood along WV Route 2 getting this beautiful picture on a beautiful day, I felt kind of melancholy, like a dog who has just been dropped along the side of the road, watching the car and his old family drive off.

But three months later, someone I had once worked with who became editor of a weekly business newspaper called up and asked if I wanted to work for her. I figured, sure. So starting Jan. 3, 2011, I was a writer and editor for The State Journal in Charleston, W.Va. I hated the commute from Huntington to Charleston -- 50 miles each way dealing with NASCAR wananbes. But I learned a lot there. Thanks to my own writing and editing the work of some pretty good reporters, I learned plenty about the energy industry -- coal, natural gas, natural gas liquids, electricity. And I made some new friends.

But all good things come to an end, they say. Last week, after several days of negotiations, the CEO and I decided to part ways, as neither of us could or would accept offers the other had made.

I have a couple of weeks left there, but this time I'm not unwanted. I have a couple of prospects in the works already, so I should be able to hit the ground running when my contract ends -- God willing, of course.

All of which means I should be able to devote a little more time to this blog, and perhaps to another river-related endeavor I have long considered but not put into action. I won't have so much about the Kanawha River, but I will be able to spend a little more time down by the Ohio, which is where I belong.

So give me a month or so and we'll see what this new challenge brings.