By Joe Jarosz
April 6, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The life of the journalist is not too far removed from that of the vagabond. We roam from town to town and when our work is done, we pack up and head to the next town.
Well, Northeast, it’s time for me to move on. Just like how I arrived in Kansas City, I’m following the woman I love out west for the next chapter of our lives together. But, like the cliche says, its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Even though it was a short two years, I’m glad I got to spend some time getting to know the Historic Northeast and its residents than not knowing any of you at all.
What did I learn in my short tenure? I realized that people not in the Northeast are stuck in the past with their perception of the Northeast. I didn’t have a lot of knowledge of Kansas City, or the Northeast, before my wife and I moved here in the winter of 2014. I knew Kansas City had barbecue, loyal sports fans, and Tech Nine. That’s it. Then I got the job as Managing Editor and learned so much about what makes the Historic Northeast special.
You. The readers. The activists. The people facilitating change. The neighborhood association members and residents who stand out in the rain on a chilly Saturday morning to organize an Easter egg hunt for neighborhood kids. Most of you are creating change because you know if you don’t, then nobody else will. You’re not doing it to get stories written about you.
Sure, there’s crime here, but there’s crime everywhere and hopefully Michael, myself, and the Northeast News staff were able to tell enough positive stories to help change even a few people’s perception.
Sadly, this isn’t see you later. This is goodbye. But I will be back. One day, my wife and I will want to show our son the town where he was born. Where he unknowingly caused many sleepless nights. Where he made walks to the River Market and through the Downtown new and exciting, again.
And when I return, I want to see the change I know all of you are working hard to create. I want to see Hardesty Renaissance working for and with the community. I want to drive down The Avenue and see more culturally diverse restaurants and businesses and less boarded up buildings. I don’t want to read about shootings in Budd Park. I want to read about new and exciting events only happening in Northeast parks.
There are great people in this tiny portion of Kansas City. Great people who I know do, and will continue to do, great things long after I’m gone. I’m glad to have met those of you who’ve crossed my path at neighborhood meetings or community events because your values made me a better person and newsman.