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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

20 years ... and counting

When I first came to the Daily Freeman – 24 years old, newly married and only 2-1/2 years out of college – my game plan was to stay for no more than three years, then move on, probably to a bigger paper in a bigger city.

But then I was promoted from copy editor to city editor, bought a house, had a kid, and next thing you know, I’ve worked at Kingston's daily newspaper for 20 years.

Exactly 20 years, in fact, as of this coming Wednesday – my start date was Jan. 2, 1988.

But lest anyone think I’m the exception to the rule, I’d urge you to look around our newsroom. Sure, we have turnover among young reporters and copy editors, as all small papers do, but a core group of us has been there for ages, forming what I truly believe is the solid foundation on which the Freeman of the 21st century is built.

Life section reporters Bonnie Langston and Blaise Schweitzer both predate me, as do Publisher Ira Fusfeld, Managing Editor Sam Daleo and Assistant Managing Editor Tony Adamis.

Political Editor Hugh Reynolds, arguably the most recognizable name and face at the paper, started long before me. And two of the guys I share the City Desk with – Assistant City Editor Matt Spireng and Ulster County Editor Tom Wakeman – have markedly longer tenures than me.

Sports Editor Ron Rosner started just after me, but two of his longtime reporters – Don Treat and Mike Stribl – have enough newsroom years between them to make me look like a rookie.

Typist Carol Schaff has years on me, too, and our Rhinebeck bureau reporter, Patricia Doxsey, joined the Freeman around the same time as me.

That’s more than a dozen newspeople at a small-town daily who all have more than 20 years under their belts with the same company. Some of them have passed 30 years, and a couple are closing in on 40.

Not to brag, but that’s pretty amazing. And I’m proud to be a part of it.



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