OPINION

Good Morning: Missing an old friend

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

As the old saying goes, you don't know what you have until it's gone.

In many ways, you don't know what you are missing until you no longer have access to it. It is at that moment that you realize how important that thing was to you. 

This week, I experienced a similar feeling, but for me it wasn't losing something. It was someone that triggered those feelings. 

Earlier this week, I got a text message from Drew Smith, who previously worked with the Herald Democrat as an education reporter and later took over the police beat. He left the Herald Democrat in early 2020, mere days before the COVID-19 pandemic truly reared its ugly head. 

Drew asked if I knew anything about an odd friend request he received on Facebook from a mutual acquaintance of ours who had passed away last year. It seemed fishy to him, and he wanted to know if I knew anything about it.

From there, we talked briefly about our work, our lives, and how things are going. It was far too short, but it still hit me in that soft part of my hardened heart.

In my time with the Herald Democrat, I've seen many reporters come and go. Some people use it as a starting point for a career in journalism, while others move onto careers in other fields; it is just the way it goes.

However, I consider Drew one of the best friends I've made in this job.

Our personalities were completely different but often complimented each other. I can remember him cutting jokes in the newsroom that would break the tension of what can otherwise be a stressful job. That is something I've missed since transitioning to working from home.

On the other side of the coin, Drew told me that he misses my wicked — if sometimes dark — sense of humor.

It wasn't until the conversation died down that I realized how much I missed those things, how much I miss my friend in the workplace.

So, if you are reading this, we need to catch up one of these days over lunch. I think I owe you one or two.