A Fond Farewell

Getting ready to move in a different direction.

My grandmother was a daredevil who rode a motorcycle in a globe on the Steel Pier. She roared around at 75 miles per hour, calling herself in a costume that would have made Madonna blush.

She loved that year and forever told stories of the other performers, including aerial artists, boxing cats and water acts. It was dizzying, both the stunts and the excitement of performing next to future stars like Johnny Weissmuller, who swung through in 1931 on his way to Hollywood and Tarzan fame.

My grandmother spent a year zipping around the steel globe. For me, the timing is about the same as my own fast ride as local editor of Livingston Patch. Reporting the news in real time doesn’t allow for much down time. It's time for me to step down.

Patch is growing rapidly. Livingston was among the first 100 launched and now ranks among the most successful sites of the AOL-Huffington Media Group coast-to-coast. Livingston is part of a cluster of 12 Essex County sites, each edited by colleagues who I respect and who helped make this job a little bit easier, and certainly a lot more fun.

This week we welcome Brian Falzarano, an Essex County Patch contributor, who steps up to sub edit in Livingston. I am certain a new local editor will carry on the good work of all the voices of Livingston Patch.

I am so proud of the work we have done this past year. Livingston Patch has assembled a team of contributors who make this site a reflection of what it’s like living in Livingston, including Phil Hoops, a college student who reports on town government; L. Klonsky who writes on parenting issues and a whole lot more; and Bob Krasner, whose stunning photographs graced these pages.

We’ve also gathered local voices from every corner of the town: Andy and Barbara Anderson, whose photos of youth sports and summer concerts provide a fresh perspective on special events; Ellen Lazer, who I’ve had the pleasure of singing with in the Burnet Hill classroom where she teaches; Vicki Kalmus, who provides skills to help students organize their time and studies; Cindy Livesey, who lets us in on the week’s best deals; Steve Pastnerak, courts; sports reporter Jason Bernstein (and a handful of other sports scribes); and Walter Joyce who tells us about all the things happening for senior citizens.

Then there are the local voices sharing with us their blogs, everything from an Insider’s View of Town Government with Deborah Shapiro, consumer affairs director Walter LeVine, and real estate with Robert Stern, to spiritual matters with Rev. Dan Martian and 13-year-old Sydney Becker who writes about her battle and recovery from a rare form of cancer.

We’ve also shared the story of Jennifer Goodman Linn, the founder of , and the Livingston teachers and residents (including my sister Jeanne) who have spearheaded efforts to raise millions of dollars for cancer research.

The stories shared by Jennifer and Sydney have deeply moved me this past year. Most mornings my day begins reading Sydney’s journal, bringing tears and a smile. In a few weeks, her rounds of chemo will come to an end. She’s looking forward to getting on with life. My are just around Sydney’s age. And I miss them. Being a full-time 24/7 editor means I haven’t been around for them the way I would like.

On her birthday, wrote: “If you have a reason to celebrate, you should celebrate it, because you just never know when your life could be totally turned upside down in a matter of seconds.”

My grandmother spent a year literally upside down. And lived 96 years to share her stories with her grandchildren.

I’ve had a year to report at a dizzying pace the stories of Livingston. And they have been memorable: and holding a in his hometown, the searching for with a senior sleuth. Never mind the , and winter of , and .

I am grateful to the Livingston residents who believe in this new media, who read us and contributed to the discussions. I am so appreciative of the township employees and volunteers who took the time to tell us their stories. From the new era in , rain on the , to the moving of , I have enjoyed spending and with you.

I’m not sure what’s next but I’m certain to take a cue from my grandmother -- and -- to go out and live a fearless life.

Thank you. It was .

Ursula Boehmer October 09, 2011 at 11:19 PM
I've enjoyed reading your articles and stories. Best wishes on the next phase...
Linda Federico-O'Murchu October 10, 2011 at 12:48 AM
You have been an inspiration to me professionally, Marilyn, with your incredible work ethic and dedication to quality and integrity. Livingston is lucky to have had you. Your colleagues are lucky to have known you. Best of luck in the future!
Shelley Emling October 10, 2011 at 01:42 AM
You will lead a fearless life Marilyn.. no doubt about it!
Robert Stern October 10, 2011 at 02:03 AM
Marilyn, Thank you for everything you have done. You have an incredible heart and you are the best. Whatever your next endeavor is I know you will take it to the highest achievement. Look forward to see you around town!
Elizabeth Moore October 10, 2011 at 02:37 AM
We will miss you a lot Marilyn. Those are some big shoes to fill. Best wishes with everything.
Jeff Becker October 10, 2011 at 02:59 AM
Marilyn, Livingston has been a better place this past year with you reporting on it and reminding us about the good stuff. Thank you for introducing us to the Patch, and thank you for sharing Sydney's story with your readers.
L. Klonsky October 10, 2011 at 03:34 AM
Geez, Marilyn! I didn't get teary until I read this! Patch is going to miss you more than you know.
Karen Yi October 10, 2011 at 04:30 AM
Wishing you nothing but the best Marilyn! It's been a pleasure to work with you these past couple of months, you will be missed!
Lia Eustachewich October 10, 2011 at 04:33 AM
You'll be sorely missed by your Essex County Patch family, Marilyn. It's been quite the pleasure working with you. Good luck with everything!
Mary Ellen Morrow October 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM
Mariiyn, you have done an outstanding job. Tasteful coverage and tasteful topics... I thank you personally for the opportunities you gave me, as a photographer form another town, filling in in Livingston. People will always be able to find your work by plugging your name in the Patch search engine. You leave behind a legacy.
Rev. Susan Gillespie October 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM
We'll miss you, Marilyn - I've appreciated your work very much.
Dan Martian October 10, 2011 at 01:00 PM
Marilyn, you can be proud of the work you have accomplished. You did a fair and balanced reporting on the Presbyterian church. Blessings on your journey called life. Please remember these simple, but profound words, "every step of the journey is the journey. Peace be upon you. Rev. Dan martian
Tom Measday October 10, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Marilyn, thanks for making The Patch a great start to every morning , tom
Marcia Worth (Editor) October 10, 2011 at 01:04 PM
Good luck and enjoy what comes next! I can't wait to watch your coming ventures and adventures.
Deborah Shapiro October 10, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Best of luck and thank you for all your help and wisdom in the past year.
Laura Griffin October 10, 2011 at 03:47 PM
We are going to miss you, Marilyn! Your work has added so much to Patch. Let us know if you start riding a motorcycle - of course, you might need one with a sidecar for the kids.
WALTER LeVINE October 10, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Marilyn, it has been a pleasure working with you. I truly appreciate all of your assistance in the handling of my posts and those of the organizations with which I am affiliated. If you are half as successful in your future endeavors as you have been in launching and bringing the Livingston Patch to where it is today, you will be totally successful! Good Luck in all your undertakings.
Michal Barkai October 10, 2011 at 07:08 PM
Thank you, Marilyn, for supporting the arts and good luck in your future endeavures! Michal Barkai
John Anderson October 10, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Great Work Aunt Marilyn! It was great giving you all the breaking news around town and helping with writing some stories. Hopefully a few stories that are in the process of being written will be completed and finished as if you never left. Best of Luck!!!
Phil Hoops October 11, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Nice work over the past year, Marilyn! It's been a pleasure getting to know you while covering everything from blizzards to municipal meetings...Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
Bob Krasner October 11, 2011 at 03:47 AM
Marilyn, It has been nothing but a pleasure working with you. I hope that you find the job of your dreams........and that I get to work for you there, too !
Michelle Lee October 12, 2011 at 07:07 PM
It's been great working with you over the past few months. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
patricia sebold October 13, 2011 at 08:14 PM
It was great reading all your articles. It has really kept me informed about what was going on in Livingston on a regular basis. I wish you the very best. Thanks for all that you have done!
Sharon Adarlo October 15, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Good luck Marilyn!
Liz Mitchell Worthington October 25, 2011 at 07:21 PM
This is a beautiful article. If I had to guess, I'd bet your grandma would be proud. Thank you for all you've done for Patch and best of luck in the future!
Carol Selman October 27, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Marilyn, I will miss your articles & our Patch-Arts correspondence. Wishing you wonderful things in future adventures. And, I am certain you have already filled that down time...Warmest smiles, Carol


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