I'll never forget the first time I walked into 121 W. Michigan Blvd.

I was a bright-eyed, 20-year-old college student, hoping to convince then-Sports Editor Jim Hunsley to allow me to do some correspondent work.

I had very little experience and was hoping on a wing and a prayer he would just give me a chance.

Though I'm still not sure why, Hunsley did give me a chance, a day that forever changed my life.

Those first few weeks doing part-time work here were pretty awesome for me. I got to meet and talk to people I considered to be local celebrities, such as the guy who's movie reviews I'd been reading, Andrew Tallackson.

Then there was the sports guy who seemed to be good at raising the ire of the public, Justin Breen, who would soon become my boss and hire me to join his staff full-time.

I've spent basically my entire adult life in this building, eight-plus hours a day, five-plus days a week.

So it's only natural, I suppose, that I become nostalgic as we prepare to vacate this place for our new digs at 422 Franklin St.

You may know that the Redevelopment Commission purchased our building and will eventually tear it down to make room for what will soon become a vibrant, fresh uptown area.

When the building is gone, it will take with it a lot of memories, at least for me.

Though our press has been gone for some years now, I'll never forget the beast of a machine that churned out thousands of copies of our papers nightly. It would roar as it started, at first slowly spitting out a few papers at a time before speeding up and eventually moving faster than anyone could imagine. I even got to have one or two "stop the press!"moments. I'm sure the press guys didn't enjoy those as much as I did.

On some level, I'll even miss being surrounded by wood paneling. No doubt, when the place was built in the 1970s, wood paneling was all the rage. It eventually went out of vogue, but I can't really imagine my work life without it. The same goes for this awesome blue racing stripe that encircles the newsroom and advertising departments. I think I want to put one of those in my house.

But the real memories here surround the work. The Friday night football deadlines, the way the newsroom sprung to life when major news was breaking, the hours spent meticulously laying out special sections, etc.

Also, the people. I've made a long list of lifelong friends during my now 14 years of employment here and these are relationships I wouldn't trade for anything.

Of course, much of this won't go away. There will still be the work and there will still be the people, just in another location.

But as 121 W. Michigan Blvd. spits out its last copies of The News-Dispatch, I do find myself a bit melancholy.

The time has come to move on, and move on we will.

Farewell, old friend.

Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at aparkhouse@thenewsdispatch.com or 1-219-214-4170.

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