For Candy at five o’clock

For my favorite Parrothead, on the occasion of her retirement.

A little over 10 years ago, Candy Mount rescued me from the toughest week of my life. My world was falling apart in umpteen different directions when the phone rang that afternoon, and a smoky voice on the other end of the line offered me a job as a copy editor for the Belleville News-Democrat.

I worked at the News-Democrat for six years — four of them at the copy desk, where Candy introduced me to Ron, and where we shared countless deadlines, frustrations, battles with the printer, and moments of laughter that left my face and abs sore as I struggled to catch my breath. 

My life is immeasurably richer for having worked for her, and it’s hard to imagine the newsroom without her.

Congratulations, Candy, and thanks for everything. Enjoy your five o’clock … everywhere.