The argument of daily life
Published: Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 12:14 a.m.
Well this is new and different.
I used to have this fabulous penthouse view from the upper-left-hand corner of the back page of the Issues front.
Sometimes when they folded the sections just so, I could read the Sunday funnies from up there.
Now here I am back where it all started; on the inside opinion pages.
And I won't say that I'm feeling a bit wan, but glancing at my mug shot it appears that all the color has drained from my face.
And, what's this? Looking over at the masthead I just noticed that my name isn't there any more.
Must be true.
All that speculation about my pending retirement and new blood coming in and what-not.
Reminds me of a phrase that Stephen King uses a lot: And the world moved on.
Funny thing, though. This doesn't feel like retirement.
I mean, I'm still here, right? You're still reading this.
Turns out that The Sun isn't entirely through with me yet. Nor I The Sun.
Apparently, I've become what passes for institutional memory around here.
Having first walked through the door in July, 1976.
When we were still downtown.
And we were an afternoon paper.
And we were all learning how to use IBM Selectrics; the cutting edge communications technology of its day.
I think mine is in the Smithsonian now.
But I'm not.
Readers, we've been through a lot together over the past 36 years.
We've watched Gainesville grow and evolve from a backwater college town that almost nobody knew about into a university city of innovation that appears to be finally coming into its own.
I've often referred to The Sun's opinion pages as a daily town hall meeting. A forum where the argument of public life takes place each and every day.
And we certainly know how to argue in this town.
But it's what we're arguing about that's changed.
We used to argue over whether cement plants and distribution warehouses were key to our economic destiny.
Now we're arguing about alternative energy uses and urban redevelopment and transportation choices and what we need to do to make our community more inviting to multi-national enterprises like Mindtree.
And what quality of life assets we need to preserve and improve in order to keep home-grown up-and-comers like Prioria Robotics from packing up and leaving.
I find all this very encouraging. I love what's happening to Gainesville; what we've become, and what we can become.
We're on the verge of building something spectacular here, readers.
Innovation Gainesville is not just a spiffy logo. It's a commitment to the future.
It's a mind-set that says we are continually reinventing ourselves in this creative community.
So let's you and I continue to engage each other in this argument of daily life. It's stimulating stuff.
And please give your support to Nathan Crabbe, our new editorial page editor. He's a talented journalist who has been here long enough to know something about our community. But now it's up to you, readers, to fill in the blanks for him.
As for me, I'm still here.
And I can't wait to see what happens in 2013.
I love this town.
Ron Cunningham is the former editorial page editor of The Sun.
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