It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog. I probably knew in my head that someday Ronald DeRosa would move on to bigger and better things, but change is hard nonetheless.
From the time that I first volunteered to be a blogger for Naugatuck Patch.com, Ron has been my biggest supporter. He readily agreed to allow me this forum, although I had no journalism experience whatsoever, and I am sure that it showed. He always allowed me the freedom to write about whatever I wished and he offered excellent suggestions to improve my posts. He also treated me with the utmost of respect.
I always knew that if I sent him a tip about something going on in the school district, he would be there if he could. The teacher in me required me to proofread as I read his pieces online and I sometimes sent him corrections that were always taken in the spirit they were given. They were also corrected. And not for nothing, when one is writing a story late at night in order to post it as soon as possible, spelling errors are inevitable; I know this from experience. I enjoyed sitting with him at some Board of Ed meetings as if I were part of the press and he never talked down to me. I definitely learned a lot about journalism from him.
During the hurricane that knocked out everyone's power at the beginning of the school year, Naugatuck Patch was my online contact with the outside world via my cell phone. I so appreciated the lifeline and so did Mayor Mezzo. At our opening day teachers meeting, the mayor spoke about how he had hijacked Ron's site during the emergency because his own blog was down. Ron was embarrassed by the accolades, since he always liked to remain in the background.
Of course Ron would be promoted to a position with more responsibility; it is well-deserved. Our loss is the shoreline's gain and I hope they appreciate him. Ron has built the Naugatuck site from an obscure online local new source that no one (including me) had even heard of to a go-to source of up-to-date and accurate local information.
Fortunately, Ron sent me a lovely personal e-mail this weekend to alert me to his promotion and to thank me for my work. That was probably the best part of working with Ron; I ALWAYS felt that the time I put into my little dog and pony show was appreciated. Even if no one else was reading or sharing a post, Ron did. He encouraged me unceasingly, no matter what. When I wanted to chronicle my journey into community theater, he told me to go for it and liberally promoted my debut. He was always professional, even when I was at my most annoying wondering why something I wrote had not yet been posted or there was a technical issue with the site. I often shared my successes, like when my review was used in an ad for the Warner Theatre, and he was always as impressed as I was. What more can you ask for from a boss?
I wish this talented young journalist nothing but the best in his new position. He has worked hard and his superiors clearly are aware of this fact. I am eternally grateful to him for giving me this wonderful chance to share my love of the arts with my community. I look forward to working with his successor Paul Singley. I just will miss RD very much.