The Garden City Telegram
3/29/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

Taking a chance on newspaper proves to be right choice

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We're a year old, or maybe it's happy first anniversary.

Whatever the case, April 1 marks one year since my family and I bought the Humphrey (Neb.) Democrat.

Hard to believe time's gone by so quickly.

In a year's time, we bought a newspaper and a house, moved to Humphrey last December, and then moved the business.

All this underscores the fact you never know where life will lead you.

A couple years ago, I was certain my wife and I would live out our days in Columbus.

We both had jobs there, owned a house, our daughter was going to college a short drive away and our son was a senior in high school.

Then my former employer decided I was expendable, and our lives were turned upside down.

It could have been worse, but losing your job is scary.

But we got by, and just when it looked like I was running out of options, I learned about the opportunity in Humphrey.

Like the saying goes, life is what happens while you're making plans.

We decided to give owning a paper a try. With our son joining his sister in college, life was definitely changing.

Buying the paper helped take our minds off the empty nest at home, but change was in the air.

All this also has proven that you have to be able to make adjustments when life throws you a curveball.

We are not usually prone to big, bold moves, but when the opportunity arose to buy the paper, we decided to take it.

I relied on my years in the newspaper business, and my wife and I have learned the business end on the fly.

We are still learning, and every day brings a new experience.

Goes to show you that leaps of faith can pay off and that sometimes taking a chance is your best opportunity.

The newspaper has seemed like a natural fit.

I have managed people before but never a business, and nothing prepares you for being in charge except being in charge.

We've come a long way, and we are still a work in progress.

Every day we learn a little more, get a little better and enjoy it a little more.

By the time the end of the week rolls around, I am ready to stop and catch my breath.

By the time Sunday night hits, the juices start flowing again, and I'm ready for another week.

I cut my teeth on a community newspaper, and it always remained a love of mine.

Daily papers do have their advantages, with the chief one being a bigger staff so there are more people to share the workload.

But for me, nothing beats a small-town newspaper.

I can't think of a better place to operate a newspaper than Humphrey.

My family and I were welcomed from Day 1, and when I tell people where I'm from, I hear only good things about the town. So as we embark on our second year of owning the paper, we are starting to deal with events and work that is no longer completely foreign to us.

Familiarity is a good feeling and so is knowing that answering opportunities knocking was the right decision.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.