Well, this stinks!
The Sand Paper is closing.
This is definitely not what we had planned for our exit from the Sand Paper. We hoped to have a bit more time at the helm of a business that we never expected to be in and never trained for, but found to be the flat-out most interesting and fun jobs either of us have ever had.
From our first “Big Effing Fish” story on the docks, it’s been fun & educational and we wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
Just answering the phone in our office has introduced us to some of the most colorful characters our Island produces or welcomes, we’re not sure which. The opportunity to meet and get to know the selfless volunteers that make this Island run, has been humbling.
And there is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing that split-second look in the eyes of a government official when you ask the question they were really hoping you wouldn’t ask about the topic they were hoping you didn’t even know about. Yeah, gonna miss that.
Running the local paper, we are in regular personal contact, with hundreds of locals, many of whom are happy to share story ideas, tips, suggestions and rumors. The Sand Paper has become the go-to for unusual questions. How tall is the clock in Times Square? When will the road be finished? What time is the parade? And in January, “What’s the temperature down there?”
When we took the helm of the Sand Paper ten years ago, we were an unknown quantity, and explained right out of the gate that we are what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of people. We instituted some new policies, like no anonymous letters. Somehow having your name in the paper each week under an opinion, makes it hard to understand why someone would want to share an opinion and not want their name associated with it. We kept our opinions on the Editorial Page and invited readers to share their opinions via Letters to the Editor. Letters arrived via email, snail mail, jammed in the crack in the front door and hand-delivered. That dialog with our readers over the years has been fascinating and we thank everyone who has ever written a Letter to the Editor.
We are beyond grateful for our ten years at the helm of the Island Sand Paper and can’t thank our readers and advertisers enough for making it possible.
We truly hope someone is interested in continuing the Sand Paper tradition.
While we are disappointed that circumstances, both economic and personal, have led us to the decision to close the paper, we are pragmatists above all else and one piece of advice has been ringing in our ears of late.
When you’re in a hole, stop digging.
So we shall.
Bob and Missy Layfield