Editor's Note: This was Ben's final column while writing for the Crawfordsville (Ind.) Journal Review.
This will be the last column I write for the Journal Review. I may start them again sometime in the future. I would like to. But for now, this will have to do.
If any of you have column ideas, please still tell them to me and send them. I will keep a list, and somewhere down the road, maybe they will let me do this again.
For those of you I do not respond with daily, please write me. Somewhere down the line, I haven't gotten mail or I've forgotten to write. Forgive me.
I won't keep you waiting much longer. Thanks for reading.
It started 368 days ago and ended approximately 2 this morning.
I'll still be asleep when some of you read this, but by the day's end, I will no longer reside in Crawfordsville. I'm moving to Owensboro, Ky., near Evansville. I will officially begin working at the Messenger-Inquirer, a 35,000-circulation daily, 3 p.m. Monday as a sports copy editor/designer/writer.
As excited as I am about the move, I'm also saddened to leave Crawfordsville. It's never easy moving on, leaving people with whom I've spent the last 368 days. But with the opportunity that lies ahead, it was impossible to say no.
Instead, I would like to say thanks to those who have made an impact on my short stay in town. It's apparent that sports play an integral part in many people's lives here, and it was no exception for me. I appreciate being able to play volleyball and softball with Jeff Nelson, Tom Perkins and the rest of those teams. I had so much fun playing, although my game face didn't always show it. My only regrets were not being able to spend more time with them at the Silver Dollar (a Crawfordsville bar), our softball sponsor and a great place to chill for any major event.
During my stint in sports, I worked with a lot of great area coaches and teams. These men and women spend extra hours each day trying to establish good sports in a good community. Many have done so, some are almost there, but all of them are trying. That's really all you can ask.
I'd also like to give a shout out to Denise Reese, Brandon Lafoe and the staff at Eastside Nautilus. With them, I had something else to do during the day besides watching ESPN news for the 45 time.
Although sports is like water to me, there are other things that I enjoyed. The response I received for the special "Star Wars" promotion was great. We had close to 130 entries in the art contest, plus many of you filled out the newspaper or Internet survey. And Robie Criswell, Devon Theatre, Attica, owner, was gracious enough to display entries and give out prizes. I even had the chance to drive a big ol' bus to Attica with contest winners to see the movie the day it premiered.
Most importantly, I'll take with me the memories from the newsroom. I have to thank former sports editor Barry Lewis for hiring me and current editor Howard Hewitt for believing I could do the copy editor gig, layout the front pages and write an "off-the-wall" column.
Many of you I'll never see again. Many of you I've never seen anyway. But I hope during the last 28 columns, including this one, you have read and wondered what I would come up with next. If I start my columns again, I hope to have each and every one of you as readers. Until then, I'll cherish this day â€” the last of 368 â€” in a town that could always be considered home.