Last week we lost a good one.
This isn’t the start of a eulogy for a life well lived, for that I’m grateful.
This is however a small (well earned) send off of gratitude for a boss we’ll miss in the office of the Oakdale Leader, Escalon Times and Riverbank News.
It’s also a time when I’m going to opt to be insubordinate and refer to him by name, Drew Savage.
Earlier this year, Drew and I had a talk of usage of colleagues name in my column space and how that may make some uncomfortable. He shared out of professional courtesy it would be best to check with them before using their name in said space. He also shared at that time that for him personally, “I could care less. I think it’s kind of fun.”
Ah journalists, the things we choose to remember and the times we opt to use it.
Drew was our General Manager. He was also one of the key pieces to the start of the 209 Magazine, yes for those just learning that product is also owned by our parent company Morris Multimedia. Drew had big visions for that product, some I could have never fathomed that we’ve also seen to fruition thanks to his leadership.
The start of the 209 Magazine was a free publication to subscribers and dropped stations with an end goal of being sold in stores.
For me personally, this was a big endeavor. Since a young age I’d dreamed of someday working for a magazine. In the Spring of 2016, with just a few years of 209 Magazine writing under my belt, one day while standing in Barnes and Noble on McHenry I told my children, “Someday mom will work for a magazine sold in this store.”
Weeks after that declaration to my children and unbeknownst to him, Drew walked into the Newsroom and shared he’d secured a distribution deal and our product would be sold in that very store as well as Costco, SaveMart, Target, O’Brien’s and several others.
Drew, “Boss Man” (as many of us chose to call him) made that childhood dream come true for this journalist. To take my children back to that very store and purchase a product I had work in off the rack is a moment the three of us will never forget. I’m simple I guess.
What I admired most about Boss Man were several things. His ability to share some laughs with us as a team, treat us each fairly and maintain an open door policy, which sometimes left me wondering how he ever got any work done.
But work he did without reservation and a true tenacity. Boss Man reminds me best of the duck analogy. The funny thing about a duck is that when you see them swimming in a pond it’s smooth and graceful. Yet if we take a peek beyond the top of the water, the duck is paddling through the water at warp speed while maintaining that graceful float.
So here’s the point of all this, I’m grateful to have worked under the leadership of Boss Man, but now it’s his turn to enjoy the retirement life, which so many of us look forward to. Now it’s time for him to sit back for a minute, enjoy the company of his wife and family without cell phone interruptions.
It’s been a weird time to send someone off to retirement. In truth, I haven’t shared office space with him in over a month, yet the void is still felt.
So here’s to our fearless leader, a dude who made us laugh, raised the bar and never left us feeling unsupported. Boss Man, you were (and are) truly a class act. Thank you for all that you not only gave to our staff, but left us with for years to come. You will be missed.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.