Thanks.

Having gained a window into so many sharp and talented people’s lives over the past year ranks as nothing less than an honor, a privilege — quite often, a blast.

But with a lovely fiancée and San Diego’s seashore breeze pulling me westward by Christmas, I knew this column would seep through my keyboard in short time.

I just didn’t expect to write it on Sunday night.

Just before lunch last Friday, I leaned The Explorer’s management paddles against the same budgetary current as many families, businesses and publications in this economic gale.

So with regret, I announce this my last column. The Explorer has decided to trim its sports coverage to a degree negating the need for a full-time sportswriter.

In other words, I’m gone — and so much for the ascension to a media elite, for the moment. Rupert Murdoch can keep the Cutlass in his driveway.

Knowing that I planned to leave Tucson eventually, I’ve worked to groom intern Luke Davis as a trustworthy inheritor of the Explorer Sports Desk Estate.

A fellow Wildcat journalism alum, Davis graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School and could barely hold it together whenever the Dorados scored during his early sideline assignments. 

Such enthusiasm, wielded properly, will serve Davis well from wherever he files a story.

The story winds a bit different for my character. Whether I end up at a news outlet, engine shop or brewery, I’m shifting focus toward writing my first novel — but since I haven’t lied to you yet, I won’t promise any release dates.

Inspiration’s a lot easier to pinpoint. My editors can relate the zip I adopt whenever a good story drifts through the office. Whether I’ve written about you, to you, or just around you, it’s been great.

I hope I delivered informative and worthwhile stories whenever you turned to this section.

And when I get really full of myself, I wish that I’ve poised you to expect more of a reporter. But I know better.

You just need to expect more of yourself.

Feel free to stay in touch at craigsandbacon@comcast.net.

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