So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night...

By Sally Santora
Clarion Caledonia Editor

It is with great sadness that I write this farewell column. This Thursday, March 22, 2007 will be the final publication of the Lake and Valley Clarion. I have worked as the Caledonia reporter and editor of the Clarion for 12 years.
I worked in the same capacity for the Caledonia Advertiser for six years prior to that, from 1989 - 2005. So, the very thought of not writing the Caledonia news on a weekly basis, doesn't even seem real.
I'd like to share with you a few of the things that I've had going through my mind over the past few days. The Caledonia Advertiser owners, Gerald and Jeanie Keith, were well into their 80's and decided to retire and sell the newspaper.
They sold to a Geneseo publisher by the name of Don Sanders, who owned small newspapers in several towns in the county. They recommended that the new publisher at least keep a local person in Caledonia to gather news for the weekly paper.
Someone was hired to do that but within a very short time, they quit. In 1989, I was hired by Mr. Sanders as the Caledonia editor/reporter. Because the original Caledonia Advertiser also included Scottsville and Mumford, NY news, the format continued in this manner.
Things were very different back then, no computers, no digital photographs, only typewriters and plenty of correction fluid! I worked out of my home for Mr. Sanders for six years until he retired, selling to another publisher who only stayed with the business a short time before closing the doors for good.
In the meantime, Corrin Strong, the owner and publisher of the Lake and Valley Clarion and I began discussions to bring the Caledonia News to the Clarion. I was eager to take on the new challenge but was still a little concerned with how our Caledonia readers would receive the change.
Mr. Strong said, “Caledonia news only,” Scottsville and Mumford are in Monroe County. With Scottsville having a different hometown newspaper, The Sentinel, covering their news, I agreed that we didn't need to continue coverage in that town. But drop Mumford? There was no way I could do that, Mumford is North Caledonia and Caledonia is South Mumford!! We are a community that cannot be cut in two, not even the county line has ever been able to separate the efforts of Caledonia and Mumford people to work together as one community.
I explained to Mr. Strong that Mumford must come along on the move to the Clarion. After much discussion, he consented. In May 1995, the Caledonia and Mumford News debuted in the Lake and Valley Clarion. The majority of our loyal readers in both communities stayed with us from that point on. This is an amazing testament to the people of Caledonia and Mumford and how much they value their local hometown news coverage.
For the past 18 years it has been my personal pleasure to bring you the “news.” News in the broadest sense of the word. News here in our community may include an important town, village or school election, an important development in local government, a fundraiser for a local family, an upcoming church event or the results of the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.
Still, all news to those of us who live in what I like to call, one of the finest communities and home to some of the most interesting and devoted people you'll find anywhere on earth.
We are fortunate in that we didn't always have “hard news” to report, the kind of news that headlines the daily papers, but we always had plenty of interesting news to print - the people, events and organizations that make Caledonia-Mumford the unique place that it is.
Hence, we have never had a shortage of subscribers or people interested in calling with a story idea. I need to thank Corrin Strong for giving me the latitude to report the Cal-Mum news the way I thought the people wanted it.
“Thank you, Corrin, for 12 years of employment doing what I love best - talking about this great town in Northern Livingston County.”
I want to thank all of the people in Caledonia-Mumford for being loyal readers, for being the subject of so many great stories, for welcoming me into their lives, for being such an important part of our community, and for finding value in all that we do here inour hometown.
The next time you see me, I won't be carrying a camera. How weird!

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