The thoughts of one outgoing Rocky Mountain News staffer

As noted in "News Flash: Rocky Mountain News Kicks Denver Post's Ass One Last Time," the final Rocky, published today, is loaded with worthy features, including a slew of reminiscences from staffers, many of whose names seldom appear in bylines. But other equally intriguing and heartfelt writings by Rocky vets began popping up on the web shortly after word of the tabloid's fate became known. Prime example: a short essay by night sports editor/sports copy chief/sports copy editor Chuck Hickey that can be found on the SportsJournalists.com site. Hickey's words, which went live yesterday afternoon, speak eloquently for him and all too many of his colleagues. Read them after the jump.

My thanks for everyone's thoughts. We all had a sense this day was coming. I woke up this morning with a sense of dread, that it was happening. I work a side job from home in the mornings and decided to work in the building today.

Then there were outside photographers hanging out in the lobby. There was a sense of dread all morning.

Then the e-mail just before noon.

Tomorrow is the last paper. It will be more of a commemorative section. 52-page no-ad wraparound about the Rocky and its people. News inside, but not as much.

We will have limited access to the building after tomorrow. No access to e-mail or our phones or computers. So get everything out by tonight.

Tomorrow, we come in and will go over the financial situation.

We are getting two months of pay, per the WARN act. Our last check for that will be May 8. Which is just great. It's my 40th birthday.

Scripps is negotiating with the Guild on a severance package, and Scripps says they expect there will be one.

I've been coming to Colorado since I was a little kid, when my grandparents retired here in the 1970s. I've always wanted to work and live in this market for as long as I can remember. I've been working in newspapers since I was in high school. It was like I was born with ink in my veins.

After many tries, five years ago, I left the Miami Herald as the Sunday sports editor for what was a dream situation for me. Living and working in Denver.

I don't regret it for one minute.

It's crushing. It's devastating. But, life will go on. I've got great friends. Great family. A great support group.

And if you go to the Rocky home page, I guess they decided to make me the poster face (for now) of the situation. That's me with my head in my hands. Though it probably will change out and will be in a slide show.

Again, my thanks for everyone's thoughts. It really is quite comforting in this time of turbulence.

Chuck Hickey Night sports editor/sports copy chief/sports copy editor Rocky Mountain News (For one more day at least)

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