In 36 years, I've watched a dozen movies being made. I've spent quality time with or interviewed too many famous, important or smart people to recount -- from actor Jimmy Stewart and Timothy Leary to Tommy Lasorda and Milton Friedman. I've shaken hands with Hillary Clinton and Karl Rove when neither knew I was a working journalist. I've helped elderly John Kenneth Galbraith down a flight of stairs and I've been helped on with my raincoat by William F. Buckley Jr.
Sadly, this is my final column as an employee of the Trib. I've decided to take a modest buyout. I'm not retiring. I'm just leaving daily newspaper journalism to see what happens to me for the last third of my life.
I've tried my best to make newspaper journalism more interesting, entertaining and politically balanced. I had my fun. I afflicted my enemies and comforted my friends. I have no regrets. Now it's time to freelance, teach a journalism class and write some books, including my memoir, which has the working title "Confessions of a Subversive Newspaper Man."
Thanks to everyone for reading my words. Especially you, Mom.