Star copy messenger says goodbye to 'strangest job I've ever had'

Dateline: Tue 24 Nov 2009

Thanks to the reader who sent this -- it was on Jim Romenesko's Poynter blog yesterday:

Says Romenesko: "Indianapolis Star copy messenger Ryan Checkeye's farewell message to colleagues (I'm told he's leaving to work for Half-Price Books):

'Well, it's my last day here at the Star.

'This has been, without question, the strangest job I've ever had. It set the crazy bar remarkably high.

 'Callers have threatened suicide, questioned my patriotism, reported UFOs, accused me (and Matt Tully) of stealing their thoughts, and peppered me with ethnic slurs. I once found an 80-year-old Pulitzer medal in a box of trash in the American Building (The News' for "its successful campaign to eliminate waste in city management;" true story -- Dennis [Ryerson, Editor and VP for News] has it on his desk). I've received mail from a man who tried to murder Princess Anne of England "as a joke," letters about time travel, and bizarre artwork (Bin Laden and McCain jousting, now hanging on my wall).

'I once ate a duck fetus in the course of my job. You read that right. I ate a duck fetus for this company. I've now been quarantined for possible exposure to anthrax. I pretty certain (though I'm not 100%) that I’ll never have another job that runs the risk of bioterrorism.

'These were, though, in many ways, the perks.

But beating out all of that were you, my coworkers. I am proud to know all of you. You made my time here well spent.

Keep in touch.'


Christopher Lloyd [unverified] said:

I can say from my personal experience that Ryan helped keep the Star newsroom at least tolerably sane. He was a great news assistant, spreader of good cheer, and all-around cool guy.

Best of luck to him in his new gig.

2009-11-25 13:00:41

Jeri [unverified] said:

Ryan will be missed. He was great to work with, wish he were here with us in Muncie. Do you have an email for him?

2009-12-01 14:44:30

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