Once, after a rough week at work, I printed out a photo of the Hickory team from Hoosiers in the locker room before a big game, and taped it inside my office cabinet. Under the image, I wrote a line from Coach Norman Dale’s pep talk: “Remember what got you here.” Cheesy? Okay. But in the day-to-day grind, it’s easy to lose sight of what motivated you in the first place—of the groundwork that led to where you are.
For years, shaping a magazine as an editor-in-chief had been my dream. The excitement I felt that day in early 2012 when former editorial director Deborah Paul called to offer me that very position at Indianapolis Monthly only grew when I met the staff: whip-smart magazine friends who care. They care about the readers; they care about chasing stories that might otherwise fall through the cracks; they care about whether “headcheese” is one word or two. Guiding the direction of IM has been an honor and a privilege. But thanks to this group of kindred spirits, it also has been a joy.
This issue will be my last as editor-in-chief; a job in my home state, closer to family, calls. But I am proud of our mission these many months: to connect our readers to this ambitious, flourishing, complicated place they call home. I am confident that vision only will become sharper, more refined, when Michael Rubino, an immensely talented writer and editor (and all-around great person) takes over for me next month.
In the meantime, I’ll be stocking up on “317” T-shirts—even though the things I’ll miss most about the city can’t be packed in a moving van. The griddled edges of a Workingman’s Friend cheeseburger. The faint buzz of Indy 500 practice, floating miles east on May afternoons. Cracking a Three Floyds Yum Yum on the back porch with friends. I could go on, but instead I’ll borrow a saying from another beloved Hoosier that’s played in my head plenty over the past four and a half years: If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.