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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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December 12, 2008 10:17 AM

Halftime of My Career: Leaving the Seattle Times

Posted by Rod Mar

That sound you just heard was the horn signifying the end of the first half of my career.

The clock has wound down to :00, but the game is not nearly over. There's plenty of action ahead.

However, it is the end of my stay at The Seattle Times.

I have accepted a buyout from the paper and my last day is next Monday, the day I return to Seattle from covering this weekend's Seahawks game at St. Louis.

Leaving the paper is not easy. The Times has been the only place I've worked over nearly two decades -- the cliches you hear when people leave a longtime place of employment all apply here.

The place feels like home (except I don't leave my socks on the floor -- well, most of the time, anyway).

The people are like family (hugs, bickering, hugs, more bickering...)

The family metaphor is not too much of a stretch. The Times has helped me grow, both as a photojournalist and as a person. I will never forget a performance review a number of years ago when then-Managing Editor Alex McLeod said to me, "Kid, you're gone from young and green to old and smelly in record time."

I took it as a badge of honor. Only in newspapers would "old and smelly" be a compliment.

My career here has allowed me to witness history through my cameras, and it has always been clear to me that my way of repayment was to share what I saw with you, the readers.

From Buffalo to Beijing and all points in-between, I've had more fun than anyone should be allowed to have at a job.

Even calling what I've done here a "job" feels weird. I was fortunate to have a career that allowed me to get paid for witnessing moments that others had to pay to see, if there was public access at all.

Though I am leaving the Times, I will continue to photograph, to witness and to explore.

I have a new blog at www.rodmarphoto.com where I will continue to share my successes, my challenges and everything in-between. The new site will larger images, categories and an area for comments.

It is my sincere hope that you'll head over for a look and join me as I take the field for the second half.

Grab a hotdog. It's just about kickoff.

Thanks,

Rod


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