In the June issue of The New Times, I shared that earlier in the year Spirit had nudged me to let go of my stewardship of this newspaper and move into some new directions. Being the founder of this business and having been its mom for the past 11-1/2 years, I was understandably thrown into a huge array of different feelings. My work here has given me so much and I have had so many opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. I've been able to work with, support, and be supported by some of the most wonderful people on the planet. I've also been challenged way beyond anything I could have envisioned when I innocently set foot on this path. There has been a richness about my life at The New Times which would be difficult to replicate anywhere else.
At the end of November, the wheel turned and I passed the stewardship on to someone else. Although I will be in the office until the end of 1996, I am no longer the publisher.
Finding the new owner was a journey of its own. I talked to so many people who wanted to take the reins. Most of them were not qualified and some were not interested when they found out operating a newspaper such as this one wouldn't make them a William Randolph Hearst overnight. Then there were the folks who wanted me to give them the newspaper for nothing in return; hardly a good balance of energy. There were a few I thought would be the new steward, but it didn't work out for various reasons. A few competitors contacted me with no real intention of buying the business; they just hoped I would be foolish enough to give them confidential information that would help them grow their own businesses. In amongst all of these, a man named Deverick Martin called me.
We hit it off right away. Deverick is gentle, intelligent, open to new ideas, and has a good sense of humor. He has been on his spiritual path for a number of years but isn't committed to only one way of thinking or believing; he is open to many different points of view, something that is required in this position. He has a background in business and lots of experience in organization and planning. He was specifically looking for a business to steward that fit his criteria and value system. After many meetings and discussions, talks with accountants and lawyers-doing all the three-dimensional things one must do-Deverick and I came to an agreement and on October 30, 1996 we signed the legal papers making him the publisher of The New Times. On December 1, he took over the reins and the January issue will be his first one to publish.
Deverick values the spirit and path of The New Times and intends to build on it. He wants to get to know all of you-readers, advertisers, and writers-and invites you to dialogue with him about your interests, issues, and dreams for the community. I'll be available as a consultant helping to assure a smooth transition and I'll continue to write articles for the paper and do some book reviews for awhile. I plan to take most of the month of January off since I haven't had more than a week off at a time since I started the paper in 1985. It'll be fun to enjoy some unstructured time. Then, joined by Rhonda Dicksion who has been the editor for the past few years and the production manager for even longer, I'm off to a new adventure.
In March, we'll be opening an artistic
rubber stamp store in downtown Monroe, about an hour's drive
northeast of Seattle. StampMagic will be an "oasis for creativity"
with lots of fun products and classes. Like the cook who eats
at her own restaurant, I will be advertising in The New Times
so you'll be able to find me easily. If you're going to Stevens
Pass, Leavenworth, the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, or just want
to visit, be sure to drop by the store and say hello. The address
and telephone will be in upcoming issues.
There are many people I will miss seeing on a daily basis, especially Shirley Eggerling who has become a trusted friend as well as valued office assistant. I've told Deverick what a jewel he is getting and I know they will work well together along with the staff he hires. I will miss hearing from those of you who took the time to write to me or to call. Whether you agreed with me or not, it has always meant a great deal to receive your feedback, even when I wished you could have been a little less forceful in telling me you didn't like something I did or published! I have definitely had to develop a thick skin! I hope your feedback will continue when I write for the paper, or when my books are published in the future. I always say that a writer without readers is like a river without water! We need each other and I will always cherish you.
Several times I've told people that being here at The New Times has felt like being at the hub of a wheel. Over the years I've watched a lot of you come and go. You would move to Arizona and return in a few years. Some of you went to southern California only to come back the next spring. I kept sitting at the hub watching you, wondering when would my turn come to move on. I wasn't particularly unhappy sitting where I was; I just found it strange to have all this change going on around me while I remained in one place. I got my answer. Now is my turn to move on, to follow new dreams, to catch new stars.
My hope for The New Times is that she will grow by leaps and bounds. She is poised for it. She wants to grow and expand. That is what Deverick wants also. In my first editorial in June, 1985 I wrote, "I know that if the community believes in the concept of this newspaper, you will support me." You have believed in it and you have supported me. Now it is time for you to give that same support to the new steward. The newspaper has not changed, only the person at the helm. Deverick will be giving a tremendous amount of himself as he goes about doing this work. It is his calling and Spirit will be with him all the way. At the same time, he will need and want you to be with him, giving him your ideas, your support, and your love.
On Sunday, January 12 there will be a Celebration of New Beginnings and you're invited to stop by and visit with both of us and the staff of The New Times. We'll be at the Rosebrier Espresso from 1 to 5 p.m. (That's at 8814 Roosevelt Way NE, one block north of the newspaper office). Stop by and have a cup of tea or coffee, meet the new publisher, and give both of us a hug. January is not only a new year, it is also a new chapter in the life of this community. Let's celebrate together and welcome the adventures to come!