I’m from a small town, and my college town wasn’t much bigger, but I’ve never been in a community that is as unabashedly supportive as Northeast Oregon. I think this is what I’m going to miss most as I depart from my full-time position as special sections editor.
When I was first offered the job nearly three years ago, the supportive staff of The Observer was willing to not only wait for me to officially graduate but to let me have one final Christmas with my family before moving halfway across the country.
Upon my arrival, the community welcomed me with open arms during a pair of meet and greet events held at The Observer and Baker City Herald offices. Artists and event organizers took time out of their busy schedules to come say hello, ask me about myself and make story suggestions to help me hit the ground running.
That same support was shown time and time again during the next two and a half years. My beloved coworkers have lifted me up in my endeavors with Go! magazine and all of our special sections, from the Hometown collection my first year to Ageless to our new North by Northeast glossy magazine.
Moreover, I have witnessed entire communities show their support for their own, from the theatre companies and music students to student-athletes. A prime example was the time I followed up on a story suggestion from a community member about a young boy battling leukemia. After the story was published, The Observer received checks addressed to the boy’s mother to help pay for treatment and travel costs. Readers didn’t have direct contact with the person they wanted to help, but they found a way to offer their support regardless.
This constant compassion has warmed my heart since the day I arrived, and it’s the reason I’m having such a hard time saying goodbye.
Even as I announced to my regular sources that family surprises have called me back to Missouri, I am greeted with words of kindness and encouragement.
The Observer’s incredibly supportive editor, Cherise Kaechele, and publisher, Karrine Brogoitti, have asked me to continue my work on North by Northeast. Anyone who knows my passion for exploring unique subjects and designing products that stand out knows this offer is a great honor. But at this point, I can’t say I’m surprised. Cherise and Karrine are Northeast Oregonians. That’s how they are.
So thank you all for your kindness and for lifting up those around you. Northeast Oregon will always hold a special place in my heart because of it.
Emily Adair is the special sections editor of The Observer. Although she is leaving her position, she will be working remotely on North by Northeast, a glossy magazine that explores growing trends in Northeast Oregon, among other things. Contact her via the newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org .