September song

Dear Readers,

Upon serious reflection and consultation with trusted advisors, especially son David, I have decided to take the summer off. God willing, I will return, refreshed and energized, on or about Monday, Sept. 7.

Over the past 35 years or so, I’ve taken extended “vacations,” though not entirely by choice.

There is one “vacation” story I’d like to share with my readers. When I returned to the Freeman in October of 1984 after eight years with the Ulster County Gazette, a generous general manager/future publisher restored all my benefits, including four weeks annual vacation. Advised that vacation time could not be rolled over, I asked if I was entitled to one week for the fourth quarter of the year. Why not? the boss said.

I took a week between the end of elections and Christmas. Now, I can’t say the switchboard lit up with questions like “Don’t tell me Reynolds quit again!” when my column didn’t appear. But thereafter whenever I was on vacation, there was a notice in my usual spot that advised readers I would return on such and such a date. For most of my (second) Freeman stint, I wrote 141 columns a year, three a week for 47 weeks. So, for 15 times a year (after a while a grateful publisher gave his star columnist an extra week), Freeman readers were advised that “Reynolds is on vacation.”  Some people thought Reynolds was on vacation all the time.

As for timing, mid-summer on the local scene I cover is usually pretty quiet.  Primaries wrap in late June and candidates take off for the picnic circuit. Elected officials lay low since nobody much cares what they’re doing in the good ol’ summertime.  Real action resumes in September, as will I.

I won’t miss writing four pieces a month, as opposed to three a week at the daily, but I will miss the feedback from readers. Thanks to all; ours has been a very interesting dialogue, much appreciated from my end.

See you in September.