As so often happens now, this week my thoughts drifted off into what a life in retirement for me might look like.
Now don’t misread what I’m saying here, I’m not planning to retire anytime soon but at 71, from time to time I do ponder the thought of what it would be like.
It’s easy to imagine happy thoughts about a time when I can wake up in the morning and the biggest decision I could face for the day will be remembering which bins I have to put out tonight, is it recycle week or not?
That’s the humourous side of my thoughts, when I start thinking about retirement, I also wonder what will happen to Orange City Life, especially if my wife and I can’t sell it or hand it over to someone else? In the present media environment, it’s a not an easy business to sell and given my personal experience, it wouldn’t be an easy business to run successfully, unless you had a good deal of the right type of experience. Time will tell if anything is to happen on that front, but there’s also another possibility.
What if we just arrived at the point where we had no alternative but to close the doors once and for all? I wonder what would happen then? I think OC Life would be missed but I wonder for how long? How often have we heard of people and things that never get the recognition they deserve until they’re dead or gone? I wonder if it may be a bit like that with OC Life if it came to just closing the doors?
Having put nearly 12 years into the business, my sincere hope is that we will leave some sort of legacy, but it will be circumstances that determine whether that happens or not.
My biggest fear is that places like Orange will ultimately be burdened with media outlets, all owned by people who have little understanding of what people in places like Orange feel or love about their lifestyle and community. Fact is, we are still very different from city people, we think differently, we act differently, we talk differently, and we appreciate things differently. In some respects, we haven’t been spoiled and we still have a warmth about us and a sense of community, something big city life doesn’t have as much of anymore.
In my view, independently owned local publications like Orange City Life are the lifeblood of regional communities and should be preserved and supported for as long as possible. No matter what’s happening in other places of the state, country or world, locals still love to read and hear about what’s happening in their own town. TV stations can no longer do it, networked radio stations can’t do it, and newspapers owned by conglomerates can’t do it. Sadly, locals can’t do it either, not because they’re not willing or keen to do, but simply because maintaining enough loyal local support today is very difficult. To run any local media outlet, it would require strong and consistent local support through advertising, something that no longer happens. Many local businesses face a similar dilemma with many shoppers spending their money elsewhere, it’s the way of the world today.
For now, for a lot of people, Orange City Life is a special part of life here and my aim is for that to continue one way or the other for a long time to come. Please settle back now and enjoy another great issue!