- Courtesy Of Jernigan Pontiac
- Jernigan Pontiac
After 23 years and some 600 stories, I'm calling it quits. The Hackie story appearing in this issue of Seven Days is the very last one.
I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you. This transition fills me with sadness. But mostly I'm overflowing with gratitude.
Penning these stories and seeing them published in Vermont's premier newspaper has been one the great joys of my life. So, heartfelt thanks to Paula Routly and Pamela Polston, the two amazing women who founded and continue to guide Seven Days. Their support of me has been steadfast from the beginning, and that has buoyed my confidence more than they know.
Thanks also to Rick Kisonak, who somehow knew I was a writer before I did when he approached me to contribute to Burlington Magazine in the early '90s.
And thanks to Shay Totten, who as then-editor of Vermont Times published Hackie for its first three years, 1997 to 2000.
To Ruth Christine Solomon, my brave companion of the road: Thank you for all the years serving as first reader/editor of these stories. More so than anyone, Ruth intuitively grasped the Hackie "vibe" and never hesitated to set me straight if I veered off course.
Thanks to my old pal Don Sander. As I wrote in the acknowledgments of my second book, "When this man is in your corner, you feel like you're Muhammad Ali." I'm not exaggerating when I say that, absent Don's unfailing support, the Hackie column would never have seen the light of day.
There are many other people, too numerous to name individually, who have been kind and generous in their encouragement of my writing career. I'm grateful to each and every one of them.
Of course, none of this would have been sustainable without the enthusiastic support of you, the readers. I've been touched by all the notes you've sent me through the years. And meeting so many of you at my public readings, especially at my annual First Night gigs from 2004 to 2017 — well, I felt the love and carry it with me to this day.
So thank you all, and namaste — the soul in me recognizes the soul in you.
Peace and love,