Nine day wonder

In 1553, Edward VI, only son of England’s Henry VIII, died childless. On his deathbed, he named as his successor his 16-year-old cousin Lady Jane Grey, bypassing his sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Upon ascending to the throne, the well-educated, pious and idealistic young queen announced that her rule would be dedicated to social and monetary reform, and devoted to service to the poor. This did not sit well. Queen Jane reigned for only nine days before being deposed in favor of her cousin Mary, and she was executed in the Tower of London in February, 1554. Ever since, the phrase “nine day wonder” has been used to indicate something rare and evanescent; things meteoric, which blaze brightly before being suddenly extinguished.

Sorry about the history lesson. (“We all love to instruct, but what we have to teach is not worth knowing.” – Jane Austen.) The point, friends and readers, is that, alas, the phrase appears to describe aptly my journalistic career. To support sufficiently the lifestyle of a dilettante, I must seek more remunerative, if far less enjoyable, employment.

I would first like to thank my colleagues at the paper, both for the opportunity, and for a lot of good times in the newsroom. I hope you will find me more forgettable than I find you. It really was too much fun…

The list of great people I have encountered in the course of reporting would be much too long for the available column space. I have been made welcome by, and enjoyed the company of, so many hospitable people at all the events I have covered. I can mention specifically only a few; to the many omitted, I can say only, you’re not absent from my heart.

Fred Sauro – you are a great coach and a true gentleman. I hope we have the opportunity to talk hoops again someday. Scott Sauro – I hate to descend to cliches, but you are truly a chip off the old block. Howard Meeks – thank you for your friendship and appreciation. Your fellow coaches knew which team played the best basketball, even if most of the media didn’t.

Danny Tennant – coach, mentor and friend of my youth, and the classiest AD around all these years later. God bless to you, Judy and the kids.

Ron Bucholtz, your team plays the right way. Let’s watch a game when the next World Cup rolls around. To his Lady Patriots – keep working and getting stronger and you will be champions.

Last, but assuredly not least, the Lady Devils; you were not just a special team, you’re special people. You make Pleasants County proud with everything you do, and you made me proud to be your chronicler. Keep doing it your way; I wouldn’t ever ask you to change.

Well, I intended to compose a requiem without a lacrimosa, and as I detect a minor key creeping into the string section, I had best get straight on to the Gloria. Thank you to all the readers who have given me your kind words and encouragement. It means a lot, and always will.

It’s been an unforgettable year; a reasonably long duration, I suppose, for a nine day wonder. I hope all of you enjoyed it too. Au revoir.

Email Matthew Hale at jmhale@yahoo.com.

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