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The Shorewood Insider Bids Farewell

Writer leaves Patch (and keeps shirt) after two years chronicling her small town.

Well, this has been a hard one to write.

Amongst the holiday fracas, I learned this journey via Patch has come to an end. And so as I sit down to write thank you notes for so many blessings, on the top is this farewell. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of your lives.

Working for the Patch has been two years of small stories that connect us. To quote Walt Whitman, "I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars."

I honed my voice through Patch, over the last two years discovered I love to write (and on deadline), and have enjoyed one of the best working relationships of my life.

I feel like Dorothy saying goodbye to her fellow travelers in Oz to Mark, Matt, Jeff, ... and Adam most of all. I won't be on the same journey with you any more, though I'll still lend you a power cord if you need it. And yes, I may contribute something sometimes.

Adam McCoy, I will miss you the most, in the capacity of boss, cohort, and one who respected me as a writer. I missed you the few days off you had in 2011 and 2012 and my house was quiet without the Gmail ping of our working dialogue. When I click my heels and hit "Send," I'll no longer be on the team.

When I go out, or walk into the school or Village Hall, I won't be Patch, I'll just be JSH. My readers, I am grateful for you all, and if you're reading this, I will miss the moment when you lower your voice to a friend or even, my favorite, clap a hand over your mouth and say: "Shhh - Patch is here." (right, Sue?).

I was always writing the next story, and happiest to shed light on those everyday heroes who have given so much to Shorewood. I treasure your talented kids, the woman in the beauty department at Walgreen's who helps the blind, the cart man at Pick n Save, and the restauranteurs and business owners who weave the Shorewood tapestry. From the red door story to the Takes a Village story, what I wrote was the tip of that iceburg — I was just gettin' started.

The year 2013 will be no longer include the chronicling the big three for Patch — school district, business district, and village. No more interviews over laughs and tears, hand-wringing over painful things and sobs over tragedy, or jumping for joy when the local surfer makes the big time. No more reminding you to put on sunscreen. I might even be home in the evenings and put my kids to bed.

As Adam often said: "Dude, you're getting way too involved." True. I grew up here, I parent and taxpay and live my days here. I think this community can be better than the sum of its parts — when the parts are connected a rare and beautiful picture emerges. It has been my mission from the start to unite, inform, and bless this place.

The tragedy and the comedy are wound around my pen and keyboard, and I'm not sure where it will go from here. 

To quote Dante Alighieri, “Remember tonight … for it is the beginning of always.”

Cricket January 01, 2013 at 02:58 PM
I'm sorry to hear this Jenny, I really enjoyed your columns. Hope you pop up somewhere else.
Mark Maley January 01, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Jenny, thanks so much for all you've contributed to Patch over the last two years. It has been a pleasure working with you!
David Tatarowicz January 01, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Jenny It was nice to view Shorewood through your perspective of someone who grew up here, went away for a while, and now is back. You were a bridge between the Good Old Days of Shorewood traditions like the SHS Seniors paradde and TP'ng --- and the overly wound uptight attitudes of some who live here now. Good Luck in your future endeavors
Jenny Heyden January 01, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Thanks, Cricket, Mark and David!
N. Peske January 02, 2013 at 12:52 PM
What a beautiful, bittersweet good-bye. Jenny, you've contributed so much vibrancy to this community through your articles. Your eye for what is special about Shorewood is unmatched. I can't wait to see what you do next with your writing talent.
Diane Buck January 02, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Jenny, You are right about connecting the dots to make an interesting image of our community ! ! You opened the door to Patch for me. May your next involvement be as rewarding and may the wind always be at your back.
The Donny Show January 02, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Jenny sounds like you were forced out? Why is that?
Patti January 02, 2013 at 04:31 PM
I got the same feeling as "The Donny Show". What is going on? Did Adam think you were, "getting too involved"? Thank goodness someone was willing to get involved on our behalf!
Jenny Heyden January 02, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Thanks, Nancy and Diane. I'm copying this all in case they take down my history. Donny, you can find all you need to know regarding Patch online - was a unilateral change that affected many paid columnists.
Bob McBride January 02, 2013 at 06:53 PM
For some reason this didn't go through first time I posted it so I will try again: http://jimromenesko.com/2012/12/28/patch-editors-say-staff-and-budgets-are-being-cut-in-2013/
Karen Dean January 02, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Thanks, Jenny. I really enjoyed reading your stories. You're a great citizen and cheerleader for Shorewood, which I know you'll continue to be.
Grace Graves January 02, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Jenny: I share Diane's comments and although I no longer live in Shorewood, I enjoyed your take on the wonderfull village it continues to be. Grace Graves
Alol January 03, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Sorry to see you go, Ms. Heyden. Of all of the Patch contributors you definitely stood out as one of the more intelligent, thoughtful, and humorous ones. I will miss your voice.
Alice Davis January 03, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Thanks, Jenny, for your hard work and dedication to Shorewood. I always read your stories and enjoyed your views as a SHS grad and a very involved member of our community. You will be missed!
Joe Peterlin January 03, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Wishing you the best of everything in 2013 and beyond. See you around the neighborhood Jenny.
Tammy Bockhorst January 04, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Thank you for your wit, humor and perspective, Jenny. You are a great writer -- keep writing!
The Donny Show January 04, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Is there anyway we can get rid of Jason now? We would all PAY for him to leave.

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