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Oesterle: Strange trip, but it's good to be back home

Published: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 9:59 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Lathan Goumas - lathangoumas@shawmedia.com)
Rob Oesterle

“Lately, it occurs to me...

What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

I am going to whole-heartedly agree with Jerry Garcia on that one. But I have to argue with Thomas Wolfe and his “You can’t go home again,” because, here I am.

Home.

It’s been almost 11 years since I have been in the full-time employment of The Morris Daily Herald. I spent better than eight years with The Joliet Herald-News, only to find out my services – like those of most of my co-workers – were no longer wanted by the parent company. Costs had to be cut and since none of the higher-ups were going to lose their jobs, the you-know-what rolled downhill.

Somehow I managed to survive a few rounds of firings, euphemistically known as layoffs, but eventually that bell tolled for me, too. It was inevitable, but knowing it’s coming doesn’t make it any easier.

For a while, at least, there was a sense of relief. No longer was the question, “Is this the day I lose my job?” running through my head during the drive to the office. Believe me, that gets old after a couple of years.

So, I took some time to just relax and decompress a bit. Then, I did some freelance game coverage work for Patch.com, until their higher-ups decided that they no longer wanted game coverage on their websites. They were more into, well, I don’t really know what they were into, except losing a lot of money.

More freelancing followed, mostly for The Morris Daily Herald.

Then, wonder of wonders, The Joliet Herald-News was sold to Shaw Media, the same company that owns The Morris Daily Herald.

My old boss from Joliet, Dick Goss, was still running the sports show, so I gave him a call. He told me he could use some help, so Curt Herron and I entered the fray in part-time positions.

That was in February. A few months later, circumstances arose that put a vacancy at The Morris Daily Herald.

As I had been the sports editor here in a past professional life, I jumped at the chance to do it again. I am not the sports editor this time around.

That job belongs to Dick Goss. But, I am a full-timer in sports here again, and that’s good news.

This is where I belong. This is where I was born. This is where I went to school, and this is where I live.

I always read The Morris Daily Herald when I was a kid, especially the sports section.

I wanted to see names of people I knew, or had at least heard of. If I kept seeing the same kid’s name over and over in baseball stories, I knew who to watch out for if I ever had to play against that team.

And who can forget the first real outbreak of Redskin Fever back in 1979 and 1980? The people I read about in those Morris Daily Herald articles became my heroes, especially when some of them were my neighbors.

That’s what I want to help The Morris Daily Herald be. A place where you can find out how your friends and neighbors are doing.

A place you can always call home.

Like I do.

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