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Open Mike

My little buddy

It is with great sadness I write this column. I decided to write about my little buddy, Rod Smith.

Rod has been a mainstay at the Daily Sun News for many years, but next Monday he will be starting his last week here to begin a new venture in his life, which you will have to ask him about.

A big part of the wonderful gang here at the Daily Sun News that puts together our community newspaper five days a week is leaving. The gang is breaking up, which is sad to see because we were a good team.

I hold no ill will towards my dear friend because we as individuals have to do what we think is in our best interest. Rod thinks this particular move is what is best for him and I fully support his decision. It actually is not a bad gig for him. Where he is going will work out well for him. It is sad for me because I know he leaves with a heavy heart. But that is what life is about, us growing on both a personal and professional level. It is only with growth-and people's definition of growth differs-that we become better at what we do and who we are.

It will be sad when next Friday rolls around because it will be the end of an era at the workplace for me. Rod and I have done many things together through our job-most of which I can write about in print-that I truly will miss doing with him.

There is a laundry list of stories we have covered together over the past six years, too many to mention all of them. We have driven through blizzards, and I mean blizzards, to get over the pass to get to the State wrestling tournament. We have got lost in Puyallup and froze our butts off at football games. We have been to soccer games where it was so cold our cameras nearly froze up. We witnessed one of the greatest moments I will ever remember in this job when the Sunnyside Christian High School boys basketball team, under Coach Dean Wagenaar, won what was the school's second State title. We were privileged to watch one of the most thrilling girls basketball games I ever witnessed when Sunnyside beat West Valley at Hanford High School a few years back. Come to think of it, we were together when the Grandview High School boys basketball team won the 2A State crown at the SunDome in an amazing game. We also had the pleasure of sharing the agonizing officiating that Greyhound boys coach Scott Parrish had to endure this last winter at the SunDome. We also saw A.J. Valencia make one of the most astounding 3-point shots I have ever seen a high school player take when the Mabton High School boys basketball team beat DeSales at the State 'B' tournament in Spokane. We both saw the president of the United States on the same day. We have spent countless hours in the Tacoma Dome, where we witnessed both the joy and heartache of State wrestling. We have spent hours and hours talking on the road. Believe me, we have put in plenty of miles together on the road and plenty of hours of conversation. And the list goes on.

Rod truly has a unique outlook on life, one that will bring a smile to your face on a cloudy day. You don't find too many Rod Smiths in the world on both a personal and professional level. He is the type of person you want to keep in your life.

While it is indeed sad a great team is breaking up at the Daily Sun News with the departure of Rod, I do have to support my friend. Even though, you know how it goes, everyone says they will stay in touch with one another, but you only see each other in passing at the grocery store.

It has been my pleasure to work with Rod and be his friend. I will indeed miss our conversations. I wish Rod the best of luck and I know he will do well. And no matter what, he will always be my little buddy.

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