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December 30, 2012

HAWES: Saying goodbye too soon

— When my family and I moved to Logansport, Jake was in sixth grade. He was about to start classes at his fifth school in seven years, and he had put his foot down. This would be his final move, he said. He would graduate from Logansport High School.

Logansport was home, and we quickly came to feel we belonged here. We loved the town’s history and its historic architecture.

On our very first visit, Teri had spotted those grand old houses along Bankers Row, and almost as soon as we settled in, she started asking around about local preservation efforts. Before long, she was volunteering at events organized by Logan’s Landing, and she was soon a member of the Logansport Historic Preservation Commission.

One year, we were touring those old houses as part of an annual preservation festival, and the next year, we owned one of them. With the help of some local incentive programs, we managed to finish a restoration project the previous owners had started, and not long afterward, Teri opened an antique store on the bottom floor.

She also began to make contacts in the local arts community, and she soon joined the board of the Cass County Arts Alliance.

Jake got involved in Boy Scouts and numerous school and community activities. I got involved in the Rotary Club, the United Way, Literacy Volunteers and Better Health for Cass County.

We had, as a friend described it, jumped into this community with both feet.

This is a great community filled with lots of folks who truly care about the area and the people who live here.

Too often, I think, people lose sight of our community’s many assets. They find themselves focusing on the challenges we face and on the things we need to improve, and they forget about the many things we have that other communities can only dream about.

We have the two rivers and a growing trail system. We have some beautiful parks.

We have the historic Cass County Carousel and those grand, old houses. We have a downtown that is fast developing into an arts and design district.

We have a vibrant arts community and a performing arts center that is among the best in the state.

The list goes on and on.

We were at home in Logansport, and we weren’t planning to go anywhere. I was in my 50s. I could see retirement not much more than a decade away, and I was telling folks I planned to retire in Logansport.

Sometimes, things don’t go the way we plan.

Early this year, I was assigned by my company to lead an effort to organize a design center that will assemble pages for daily and non-daily newspapers from Goshen to Washington, and now I’ve been asked to manage that center. I will start work in my new job this week.

The new position will have me working from Anderson, my hometown, and that means a new managing editor will soon occupy my desk in Logansport.

We won’t be moving right away. Jake is midway through his senior year, so we’ll stay here at least until he graduates.

My new job will be unlike any I’ve had in my 36-year journalism career, and I’m excited about the challenge.

Still, I’ll miss Logansport and Cass County. I’ll miss the Pharos-Tribune and my fellow staffers, and I’ll miss all the folks I’ve come to know both professionally and personally.

Of course, we’ll never truly leave Logansport and Cass County. A part of us will always be here, cheering for each small step the community takes toward those brighter days ahead.

• Kelly Hawes is managing editor of CNHI’s Indiana Design Center. He can be reached at kelly.hawes@indianamediagroup.com.

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