So this newbie executive editor from New Yawk finds himself on his first day in the lobby of the Pocono Record, smothered by anxiety and doubt about coming to a new newsroom.
At the counter he is greeted by a smiling, cheerful young lady who extends her hand and says: “Hi, I’m Marta Gouger.”
The new guy discovers that Marta, like her handshake, is firm, yet warm and welcoming.
That feels like it was only yesterday. And today we says goodbye as Marta Gouger leaves the Pocono Record to become editor of The Times News in Lehighton.
How she embodies the Pocono Record and what she has done for our newsroom cannot be overstated: She has poured her heart and guts into this news operation.
For 28 years.
Nights. Weekends. Early mornings. Holidays. On (alleged) vacation. Marta has given of herself in ways that will never fully be recognized.
What can be recognized, though, is her signature way of interacting with all of us as a compassionate, giving manager; her burning curiosity about the Poconos and her insatiable, enthusiastic appetite for news. (Can there be anyone more child-like in their glee about an approaching snowstorm?)
She has mentored many a reporter (and this editor) in the ways of the Poconos and for that, I am profoundly grateful. She now brings that passion and smarts to a new environment.
Though her final day here is today, her dedication to this, our imperfect craft, will long be remembered.