After 20 years, Record Managing Editor Stuart Korfhage says goodbye
Although I’ve written a few columns over the years, one thing I’ve always tried to remember about being a journalist is that the story isn’t about me.
In the thousands of stories I have written for The Record in my 20-plus years here, I’ve mostly kept to that rule. And, frankly, it’s been pretty easy because the people in this community are pretty darn interesting. And you’ve been wonderfully generous with your time as well as your sometimes very personal details.
This is my time to say thank you for making yourselves accessible and sometimes vulnerable to allow me to tell your stories. Thank you for trusting me to properly share a glimpse of the people you have loved or the ideas that you’re sharing publicly for the first time.Thank you for your patience when I haven’t gotten it completely right, but was at least willing to correct my mistakes.
Thank you for understanding when I’ve had to delve into a subject that you would have rather kept private.
If you haven’t sensed it yet, this is my very slow way of saying goodbye to the readers of The Record.
In just a couple of days, I’ll hand in my laptop and head out into the world as something other than an employee of The Record. It will be the first time in more than two decades that I won’t be part of the organization.
It’s been an interesting ride. I’ve been allowed to do so many different things.
READING STUART::Korfphage's recent work
I got to watch a kid named Tim Tebow grow from a man-child on local high school fields to the Heisman Trophy winner in New York City.
I covered the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and Little League All-Star games.
Over my career here, I’ve covered a gas station explosion, trials for those accused of awful crimes and political campaigns going up and going nowhere.
And it’s all been tremendously interesting. (Well, some of it was really dull, I’ll admit. But I tried to squeeze out the few interesting bits for the readers. I won’t pretend all of those three-hour meetings I covered were interesting, only the end results.)
I wish I had the gift of writers like my friend Jim Sutton — who hired me back when we were young — of sharing some hilarious anecdote about my work. I’m much better at telling other people’s stories.
What I do remember about starting at The Record is that my first impression of the whole operation was less than flattering.
I started at the old building on Cordova Street, which was truly horrifying inside. When I walked in for my initial interview, I nearly turned around and said, “Never mind.”
That’s not a joke. It was the worst building I’d ever thought of working in. The computers they were using appeared to be from the year I was born, and the paper’s design was so bad that it nearly brought tears to my eyes.
But whatever. St. Augustine seemed like a decent place, and this was just going to be a stepping stone. It’s not like I was ever going to be editor or something.
Then, whoosh. Twenty years just went by and here we are. I might not have made it to the status of Margo Pope or Sutton or Anne Heymen, but I did outlast every other journalist who was in the office that day in 2000, and lots of them who came afterward.
For that, I don’t want or deserve any congratulations. I stayed because I loved what I did. Still do.
I stayed because of the way this community embraced me.
And although I’m leaving The Record, I’m not leaving St. Augustine. So if you see me around town, come up and say hello. If I wrote about you at some point, but I can’t remember your name, let me apologize now. My memory is imperfect, so you might have to jog it.
Finally, if you’re thinking of a story you read in the paper and wondering if I wrote it, just tell me if you liked it.
If the answer is yes, then yep, I wrote it. That’s the story I’m going with.