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Telegraph losing its ‘Man of the People’

“Thanks for the memories: Ed Gris­amore leaving The Telegraph,” it read. I blinked a few times and read it again. I couldn’t believe it was true. Ed seems far too young to retire, and he seems to enjoy his job too much to just up and quit. It is especially jarring because we have such a short time to get used to the idea (his last day is today, May 15.)

Nevertheless, he has decided to move on to a position teaching tomorrow’s budding journalists and we will have to get used to the idea that we will no longer be enjoying his work on these pages on a regular basis.

“I have accepted an offer made to some employees,” he said in his retirement announcement. That was all the detail we got about the circumstances regarding his departure. Sometimes that means people leave the business before we’d like them to. I think losing Ed Grisamore might be the most painful loss we’ve had to endure yet.

Ed occupies an important position at The Telegraph, and in our community. He is our local columnist, the guy who goes beyond the news and writes about what it’s like to live in Middle Georgia. He is our voice in the media, a job he inherited from the venerable Bill Boyd. I remember when Bill retired from The Telegraph after a long, storied career. We were sad to see him step down, but he felt it was time and Ed was waiting in the wings to take up the mantle as the paper’s “Man of the People.”

This time is different. There will be no long goodbye and there is probably no apprentice waiting in the wings to be the next Bill Boyd or Ed Grisamore. It feels like the end of an era. Fortunately, Ed will eventually be writing more columns for this publication, and we should be grateful for that. I suspect he will be a freelance hired gun like myself (though certainly a more highly skilled and professional one.) But he surely won’t be able to spend as much time circulating through the area, visiting interesting places and talking to fascinating people and giving us all the details about what he sees and hears.

We will miss that, a lot.

Change is inevitable, though, and we will have to adapt. The Telegraph will go on and we will no doubt enjoy Ed’s contributions as a guest columnist. And on the bright side, Ed will no doubt be a major influence on many budding young journalists in his new role as an instructor. Who knows -- he might inspire some young man or woman to become a columnist who longs to tell the stories of the people who define the character of the community they serve. Good luck in your new endeavor Ed, and please don’t be a stranger.

Bill Ferguson is a resident of Warner Robins. Readers can write him at fergcolumn@hotmail.com.

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