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Big City Lights vs. Quiet Country Nights by Dick Cooper My hands automatically turned and twisted the silk tie into a fullWindsor knot all by themselves. No brain cells were used or lost in the transaction. As I slipped on my sports coat and made a last-second check in the bathroom mirror, adjusting the knot just a little to make sure it was centered, I realized I had not been in full battledress for almost a decade. Time is a quicksilver substance that comes and goes at odd paces. Days, and sometimes hours, drag by exceeding slowly, and then, before you realize it, years are gone. This month marks the ninth anniversary of what I like to call the “Last Great Buyout in American Newspaper History.” After doing da i ly jour na lism at major Ea st Coast newspapers for 36 years, my last full-time employer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, paid me to leave. When I called my wife, Pat, to tell her the terms of the buyout offer, she did not miss a second. “Take it,” she said with conviction. When I told her I was putting the papers in the inter-office mail, she told me to hand-deliver them to the HR

The highrises of St. Michaels. department as fast as I could. Out of 75 buyouts being offered that day, in November 2005, I was Number 2 in the door, only because my friend Herbie, who was Number 1, worked three doors down from the personnel office. Within a year of that fateful decision, Pat and I added to our domestic disorder by selling everything in Pennsylvania and relocating to St. Michaels. Now, instead of commuting two hours a day to work and driv ing four hours on weekends back and forth to our boat on the Chesapeake Bay, we live five minutes from our boat in the harbor. Pat is in her office 14 minutes after pulling out of our driveway ~ unless there’s farm equipment on Route 27

November 2014 ttimes web magazine  

November 2014 Tidewater Times

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