Good God, it’s issue number 400.
I’ve been thinking all day about a more eloquent way to put it, but all I can say is “good God.”
We’ve sweated bullets 400 times on our print deadline.
We’ve proofed and proofed (and proofed) 400 issues.
We’ve made the same delivery rounds to stores 400 times.
It seems like yesterday that I was walking around town with a spiral-bound and laminated mock-up of The Boyne City Gazette to sell advertising in a product that didn’t technically exist yet.
It seems like it was last week when I was getting stuck in ditches dropping papers door-to-door because we didn’t have a postal permit yet.
It feels like it was only last month that we got our first Michigan Press Association award, and yet now we have dozens more.
Flipping through the papers we’ve done so far, each one has a memory for me.
I laugh when I look at the pictures I took at the New Years Eve party at Boyne Mountain in 2013, because I remember trudging up the snowy mountain to get the photo of the torch-bearing skiers spelling out the new year.
I reminisce when I see my grandfather’s obituary, having put it together over the weekend to make it into the next issue.
I shudder when I look at my 2009 Mossback Amelia photos, remembering that I got lost trying to get there.
Every issue of the Gazette means something to me because every issue came with its own heartaches, joys, laughs, jokes, and portion of my life.
These past issues have seen me through two-and-a-half relationships (I’ll explain another day), an engagement, friendships, good weeks, and bad nights.
These editions have seen businesses open, close, and be replaced, and sat back through the births and deaths of numerous folks in our community.
This newspaper has watched me evolve personally.
I’ve aged seven-and-a-half years—one third of my life—from when Ben and I started this paper at a picnic table over a couple of beers.
But, let’s be honest, it’s not just about us, it’s about all of you.
It’s about the businesses who had enough faith in this idea to advertise in a newspaper that didn’t exist yet.
It’s about the thirteen-or-so people who subscribed to a newspaper that hadn’t even printed its first issue.
So, today, I thank all of you for your faith in us and our ideas.
Today, I thank the family members who have understood that owning a business doesn’t mean a 40-hour-week; in fact, more often than not, it means a 40-hour-day, if that’s even possible.
And, lastly, I’d like to thank Ben, my business partner.
Ben took a risk when he joined me in this grand idea that we hatched together in his back yard, and it wasn’t just on the business, it was on investing his time and hard work into an idea with an optimistic 21-year-old with no journalism experience.
These 400 weeks have been the best of my life, and so I’m raising my mug of hot cocoa to another 400.
Thank you all for your support.