Best wishes to a couple good guys and excellent journalists.
Here is Chris Dufresne’s Facebook post:
Well, my dream of being paid by the LA Times on June 17, 2016, will come true. That date will be the 40th anniversary of my hiring on June 17, 1976, just a week after high school graduation. There was one short interruption in 1981, where I left transportation for a “real” job at the Fullerton Trib before getting hired back in same calendar year, as you see from my start date in Editorial on Dec. 29, 1981. I was awarded continuous service which is why I will be leaving with five more years than Bill “Kid” Dwyre.
My five years on the loading docks were fantastic, even the bundles that fell on my head. At lunch I would sneak up to third floor to see if I could see Jim Murray. I never did and can tell you now I know why since I haven’t been in the office in almost two years. (But go count my bylines in that time).
That newspaper loader imagined some day working beside Murray. And it happened. Are you kidding me? I sat next to Murray at his last Rose Bowl on Jan.1 1998. I treasured that moment and a million others with mentors and colleagues.
Oops…buried the led.
My buyout offer was accepted today. I am honored to be going out with Bill Dwyre and Chris Foster and 100 total years of service at the only paper I have ever wanted to work for.
So, yeah, no matter how you slice it and how much things have changed in our business, my dream came true. Nothing can change that.
I could go on and on but that would be Chris Foster’s Facebook goodbye post. I’ll tell you all my stories in person.
Did you know I picked up Rick Reilly at the airport when he was hired in the OC edition? Picked him up in my Mazda RX7 but it turned out he had a much faster car.
That’s all for now. Thanks to the hundreds of great people who influenced and inspired. Forever grateful to Bill Dwyre, the sports editor kingpin who took a chance on me even when I screwed up the final score of a high school football game.
This is only goodbye from the Times, not from writing or the world.
My exit date is not yet firm but reach me in future at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost final LAT count: 6,000-ish bylines, 6 million words. All worth it.