Artwork by Chris Hahn

Bantering Barbie

Barbie Porter

Current mood: “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” 

I rode into these two turkey, one loon towns as a rookie. With fire under my feet and a confidence that outweighed my abilities, I walked into the Frazee-Vergas Forum. 

The night before I was asking, “What am I going to do all day?” That was not the first time I asked a foolish question.  

My bosses allowed me to chase leads. And, without fail, they always led to great people with a unique moment. Those moments became perfect metaphors for the essence of our communities.

All of those stories were gifts. The givers trusted me to share their messages and experiences. They allowed me to capture the emotion of that moment, be it a gale force wind on a sub-zero day, or that godly beam of light breaking through a picturesque sunset that hangs over a lake, where diamonds seem to dance on cresting waves. That run-on sentence had purpose. The stories came with a similar cadence. The blessings continued throughout my 16 years here. 

There were moments where mole holes appeared to be mountains; everything was turned upside down. But time brought us all together. These communities have taught me so much about being a better human. 

In the city I grew up in, some people would say, “Oh, that’s small town,” with a derogatory tone. What I learned was, I’m not the only one to say foolish things. 

In time I learned that small town means, you are one of many that guard their community and its people with your heart. When the heart is involved anything is possible.   

Through the grace and knowledge of the leadership at the helm of the publisher seat, I grew professionally. The stories we could tell make me smile and laugh and hold my heart and cry in quiet moments of reflection. 

And, that is why, it is so darn hard to say goodbye. My last day at the Frazee-Vergas Forum office will be Thursday, March 24.  

“And I’ll take with me the memories to be my sunshine.”