OFF THE BEATEN PATH: I’ll be seeing you around | SierraSun.com
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OFF THE BEATEN PATH: I’ll be seeing you around

Abby Hutchison, Sierra Sun

Exactly two years ago I began working as a reporter for the Sierra Sun.

The snow was still falling in what came to be known as the season’s biggest storm. I was still commuting back and forth to Reno while I searched for a Truckee rental. Valentine’s weekend brought three tragic snow-related accidents, and my first by-lined stories for the Sun had my parents calling to inquire if all rookies were put on the “death beat.”

I was the new kid in town, and right away people were making bets on how long I’d stay in a position that has seen more new faces in the past five years than I can count on my hands and feet. Well, exactly two years is the answer, two of my very favorite years thus far.

I am leaving the Sierra Sun to pursue other interests and this week marks my last as a full-time reporter in Truckee. You won’t be rid of me quite so soon, however, as I will continue to work part-time until my replacement is secured.

Working for a small, mountain town newspaper is a wonderful experience, especially in a town as original as Truckee where stories are never too hard to come by and the people are about as nice as they come. Since working at the paper I’ve learned about things I might not have otherwise taken the time to learn about: the ins and outs of town government, the protocol for local government board meetings, the arguments surrounding growth and development, how suits of armor are made, how coffee beans are roasted, how to talk in front of 28 6th-graders, how grapes are crushed to make wine, what every child in Truckee wants for Christmas, and how to make Waldorf salad.

I went to the first day of kindergarten all over again, did 115 mph in a CHP Volvo, rode in my first helicopter and participated in numerous fund-raisers, wine tastings and …. Oh yeah, I was one of the 7,000-plus people in Truckee’s Town Portrait 2000 – the one in the shiny blue cowboy hat.

So what will I do without my weekly cycle of early Wednesday morning deadlines, coffee breaks and the dead-calm stillness of Thursdays? I am applying for my teacher’s credential and looking into graduate programs and will most likely be spending a lot of time in Tahoe-Truckee schools in the near future, just this time not behind my notebook or camera. Former school board president Suzanne Prouty said to me the other day, “You mean, going to school board meetings month after month didn’t completely turn you away from education?”

Although some meetings went well beyond what anyone in their right mind would call an appropriate bedtime, the answer is, not yet.

I am also learning to speak Spanish and hope to travel through Mexico and Central America this summer.

I have a lot of ideas and feel ready to focus my energies on working with kids and young adults, something that has always made me happy, and find a quick fix for the common 20-something ailment of wanderlust.

But, before I run off to do just that, I want to thank all of the people that have been so supportive and wonderful to work with. Most everyone has been completely approachable and reachable, even if the latter didn’t happen until five minutes before the drop dead deadline. Feedback that I received, both positive and negative, was extremely helpful and well appreciated.

Thanks also to all of my fellow colleagues here at the Sun and the Tahoe World for offering comic relief at especially tense moments and for being great friends to me. It will be impossible to replace the peanut gallery.

So, I’ll be seeing you all around town over the next few months, or at least on the slopes now that my schedule is a little more flexible!


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