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Column - Petrich bids adieu after 12 years

Editor's note: After 12 years with the Echo Press and the Osakis Review, Greta Petrich has announced her resignation. This is her final column.

I thought writing my last column would be easy.

I envisioned a stirring retrospect of 12 years and more than 500 columns for two newspapers.

The reality is that the life of a newspaper reporter simply isn't that glamorous.

Not that I didn't have dreams of grandeur. Seeing my name in print - it's definitely a rush. It makes you dream of becoming the next Dave Barry or Erma Bombeck. I admit it was always my hope to become so popular I'd get my face on a billboard - or even a Rainbow Rider bus.

It didn't happen.

Instead I earned a loyal little following - the crew at Caribou Coffee, several of the women at Herberger's, the lady at Lake Carlos State Park and so many more. Your kind words made it all worthwhile - your recognizing me gave me so much incentive.

Writing a column in a community newspaper is so much more than just throwing some words on a page. Over the years I've carried the honorable responsibility of being a voice - a voice for mothers, a voice for nature, a voice for shortcomings, a voice for issues, a voice for life.

I like to believe I've helped people realize we're all human. Sometimes my life is on the verge of insanity. Strange things happen to me. My house is often the center for crazy. We do the best we can and I've been open and honest about it.

I hope at one time or another you have read my column and related, thinking, that happened to me or I can totally relate.

In 12 years of writing I learned newspaper reporters are like refrigerators. You don't even think about them until they produce spoiled milk.

Yes, I've received my share of calls or angry rants from people at the grocery store - and I've learned.

I've learned that my words matter and sometimes I need to think a little more before I write.

I've learned that people care about what we reporters write, that newspapers matter.

I am so grateful for my time in the spotlight. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your comments. I have cherished every moment (well... almost).

I've had my turn and I will never ever forget it.

"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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