As we put The Mercury to bed one last time, we must come face to face with the reality that we are letting go of a dream. And sometimes, letting go of a dream is never easy. But when the alarm clock sounds, you can only hit snooze so many times.
From the very beginning of The Mercuryís most recent resurrection in 2003, the alarm clock sounded a few times. But Jay Bernhardt was determined to turn his dream into reality and keep it that way, regardless of how many times the alarm clock rang.
It is interesting to note that his effort has come full circle. He started with a skeleton crew, and The Mercury team grew until, at one point in time back in 2005, its staff monopolized more than half the renovated building located at 140 Main Street. Once again we are back to a skeleton crew, only this time we are winding down, rather than winding up.
So tonight, as we put the paper together one last time, we would like to thank the community for all of your efforts as you rallied with us to keep the paper alive these last few months.
Without contributions from Dick Palmer, our Business Profiles would not have provided the extra bang for our advertisersí buck. With Terry Berkson and Don Urtz and Tom Heitz all contributing their take on the past, we were able to connect with a Richfield Springs many of us would never have known about. While they filled us in on yesterday, we had our favorite retiree, Bruce Watson, keeping us in touch with today with his expansive coverage of schools and community goings on.
Sandy Olson fed our hunger for new recipes; Curt and Mariel wetted our appetite for new adventures; and our temporary sports intern, Ben Kelly, provided us with a tasty sampling of his photographic skills.
Being owner of the paper, Jay Bernhardt has received much applause for his effort. Serving as reporter and then editor, Janine Giordano also had a fair amount of the limelight. Our salesmen, Pat Doyle and Stan Thompson, though much loved by our advertisers, often carried out the thankless job of bringing in revenues in any sort of weather, figuratively speaking or otherwise. Thank you for giving this your best shot, Pat and Stan.
Then there is our production manager, Brandon Dawley. Brandon had the keen ability to take scatterbrained ideas and turn them into a viable part of the newspaper. He would take the dozens of processed bits and pieces of news, feature, columns, ads and photographs and mold it into The Mercury. Without Brandon, the paper would never have been published this long.
Bill Gates is another person who from behind the scenes kept this ship sailing on an even keel. As soon as something controversial popped up, or if things became too stressful, an email to Bill would resolve an issue, calm a fear, clarify confusion. Even thousands of miles away, he continued to serve as managing editor and mentor.
Jason Bernhardt had the tough task of filling his dadís shoes. Thank you, Jason, for constantly coming up with different ways to keep us motivated. Your proof reading skills are second to none.
To John Sovocool, Barb Peterson, George Ehrmann, Jeannette Armstrong, Mr. and Mrs. Rutler and all of our other Community Profiles, thank you for giving us the chance to tell your stories.
To volunteers Jackie Hinckley and Jerry Manning at the Zone, to Judy Devries, librarian at the Jordanville Library, to the staff at Richfield Springs Central School, ODY, Cherry Valley-Springfield and Mount Markham, thank you for always providing answers and guidance.
Thank you to the hundreds of other supporters and readers for helping us and for taking us into your homes each week.
We wanted to make The Mercury something different and unique, and we did it. We could not have done it without all of you.
Jay refuses to say the paper has died. And if there is one thing we all know about Jay, when he gets an idea he doesnít like to let go. So if he says there may be a future for The Mercury, there very well could be.
So rather than say goodbye, letís just say.. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.