A Fond Farewell And The Parable Of The Pencil

FROM THE PUBLISHER

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For more than 10 years I have served as the publisher of the Payson Roundup and it has truly been my pleasure -- not only to work with an extremely talented team, but also to be a part of this wonderful community.

As many of you may already know, I have been offered a promising opportunity for advancement that will benefit my family and present an exciting new career challenge.

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Richard Haddad

I will be transferring to another community and another quality family-owned newspaper group.

When my wife Debbie and I moved to Payson with five children in 1996, we could not have imagined all the beauty we would discover in Rim Country -- not just in the mountains and forests, but in the good people who would become our neighbors and friends. We've watched as members of this community opened their hearts to comfort families who lost a home, a husband, or a child. We've witnessed devastating fires and how residents reached across borders to lend helping hands. We've seen our young people win state championships, get married, go off to college, and off to war.

There have been good times, and there have been challenging times. But they have all been times of growth.

Anyone who has taken a tour of the Roundup, or heard me speak in our schools and civic groups over the years knows that I love the newspaper industry. There is something magical about it. We start with blank paper and then the entire community touches it. Whether it's a letter to the editor, a student winning an award, or our reporters bringing you the news, the pages start to become something new. The paper transforms from a blank sheet to a tool that can inform, enlighten, make us laugh, make us angry, make us call for change, or tell us what's playing at the movie theater.

It tells our stories and bears record of our lives.

I hope I served to help make the Roundup a newspaper the community can be proud to call their own.

In this day of computers and other high-tech gadgets, I have an affinity toward simple pencils.

Maybe it's because I hope my life can be like a pencil.

With each day, I want to work to stay sharp, to keep myself ready to serve and make a difference, and to make a mark in life that has meaning. Like a well-used pencil, I want to be used up at the end of my life and know that I didn't sit idly in a drawer watching life open and close above me.

In striving to have meaningful purpose, I know I will make mistakes. But like a pencil, I can turn around when necessary and work to fix my mistakes and set things right. I truly believe, whether we're acting as a business or as a human being, that in the end we are not judged so much by whether we made mistakes, but rather how we tried to fix our mistakes. I am grateful for the forgiveness I've felt over the years, and I hope I've afforded the same blessing to others.

And like the reliable No. 2 pencil, the number 2 inscribed on the side reminds me that, despite a world that cries out "me first," we are not number one.

My family and I thank you for a decade of kindness and friendship.

-- Richard, Debbie, Brian, Eric, Rachel, Jacob and Luke

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