Runnels Vision … By Jacob Runnels


The things I will take with me

The mementos of my past have a weird way of presenting themselves to me.

As I was packing my car yesterday, I noticed an old VCR I purchased at a pawn shop in town about a year ago. It was $15 and I was assured by the employee it’d be a top-quality VCR worth hundreds of dollars “back in the day.” It also came with a free VHS copy of “Dances with Wolves.”

I purchased it because my girlfriend wanted to get a head start on a Christmas present for her family. She used it to meticulously comb through every old VHS tape in her parents’ basement to splice together a video of some of the highlights of her family’s past.

I wanted to use the VCR to watch old family videos with my parents someday. Though time and rats have eaten through most of the tapes, they’re still searching for anything salvageable for us to watch together.

The VCR is almost like a time-traveling artifact for the millennial; old enough to be obsolete but has the unique power of sending us to a time when our parents were our age. It’s a nice thing to be able to reminisce about things like that.

And then, with reminiscing, I was brought back to why I was packing my car.

I was packing my car to leave Marysville for good, and not out of malice, but for other opportunities.

Like what I have in my car, I carried mementos of my time at the Journal-Tribune with me in my apartment and work desk.

Every edition of the paper I’ve contributed to, either for my columns, stories or photos, was saved over the years and sent to my mother. She doesn’t understand what’s going on in Milford Center or the Marysville Schools, but she finds them nice to eventually turn into a scrapbook.

I have also saved several emails and letters of appreciation I’ve acquired on the job. From emails extolling how I’ve written stories, to the physical card I was mailed early in my work thanking me for publishing an anniversary notice, I’ve saved them all. Call me a hoarder or an appreciator of memories, but I also saved several journals containing interview transcripts I’ve written on the job.

Though I have some tokens of praise, I also remember my lowest points at this job, from not remembering names correctly to careless misspellings.

Still, those experiences, good or bad, have helped shape me as a better writer and person. I came into this job with a little bit of journalism experience and I was given a chance to show myself to the community.

I feel that I’ve left a good impression at the Journal-Tribune. It is sad to consider this will go from my life to a part of my past, but it was the experience of serving the community by reporting the truth and writing about the people that have made an imprint on myself.

And in some strange way, the VCR is a good artifact of my time in Marysville. It’ll remind me of good memories I’ve had in this town. And I don’t have to watch that copy of “Dances with Wolves.”

-Jacob Runnels was the society editor at the Journal-Tribune.

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