It’s that time of year to take a moment to reflect upon our lives and take stock of what we’re thankful for. After a bit of review, I’ve determined that I have quite a bit to be thankful for this year…
First, I am extremely thankful for you, the person who has picked up this paper and is reading this column. Since we launched earlier this year I have seen the O’Fallon Weekly continue to do better than I’d ever imagined it would this early. I was told very early on by a friend of mine who owns a paper that you can put out the best product ever, but if the town doesn’t care, you won’t last six months. You’ve shown that you appreciate our efforts and care to continue to receive papers each week. And I can’t possibly thank you all enough for that.
Next, I’m thankful for all of the wonderful businesses, both large and small, that advertise in the O’Fallon Weekly. Without them, there would be no paper. So if you like what we do, please patronize our advertisers and let them know you appreciate their support of the O’Fallon Weekly. It helps us all.
Another huge blessing that I’m thankful for has been the wonderful people I’ve met this year. People like Jarad Jarmon, Nathan Poignee, and Angela Simmons, all of whom have been or are writers for the Weekly. I knew when we started that eventually this would become more than a one man show, but I didn’t know I’d be so lucky as to find such great people to help share the burden with.
With that said, I’m thankful for the great colleagues that have been so welcoming and generous with their knowledge and experience. Jeff Egbert, David Porter, and John Galer have become my three wise men and have given me some really great advice and ideas. The readers of their respective papers are lucky to have such quality newspaper men working for them.
I’m obviously thankful for my family, as they have supported and helped me through this year in ways I can’t express. Their unwavering love and support has helped me push on through some very long nights to make sure the paper is finished and sent to print. They’ve picked up the slack in other areas of my life when I’ve been too busy to do something on my own. I couldn’t have done this without them.
I would be remiss in not stating how thankful I am for my partner in this endeavor, Jon McLean. I joke about how you can tell me to put a newspaper together and I’m off and running, but if you tell me to file an LLC, my eyes cross. But its true and it goes beyond that. The O’Fallon Weekly wouldn’t exist had Jon not challenged me to get off my butt during a period when I was unable to find any work and was getting complacent. He not only provided a sounding board for working through the creation of this paper, but we continue to bounce ideas off of one another today. He keeps me grounded, as I have a tendency to sometimes think we’re bigger than we are (hey, I put a lot of effort into this and so it means a lot to me), but he also sees the potential for how big it can become. Jon has been the best partner I could have ever asked for and I often think that all of the crap we’ve been through in other arenas has all been worth it if it led us here.
I am so incredibly thankful for my wife, Laura. Not only has she been the stable force that has allowed me to go off and try this risky venture, she has encouraged me at every turn. At times when I fully expected and deserved to be lectured and told how scary an idea sounded, she never once discouraged me. Laura has been my biggest cheerleader and one of my best promoters and I couldn’t love her more for it.
Finally, I’m so thankful to be able to announce that the O’Fallon Weekly family will be growing again next year, as we prepare to add a cub reporter. Laura and I are expecting our first child in May. All is well and everyone is healthy. No, we don’t know if its a boy or girl, and we probably won’t find out. Laura wants the surprise. I won’t lie and say I’m not scared, but I know things will all turn out alright (However, I’m hedging my bets… to take out an advertisement in the O’Fallon Weekly, please contact Kathy Breger at (618) 580-8098). More to come on this situation as it develops…
What are you thankful for this year?