After 14 months and a couple thousand posts, this is my last week at Jalopnik. Hand over your yearbooks for a minute, and I promise to keep my pen drawings safe for work.
Most ex-Jalops leave like they're stumbling out of a rave hoping to avoid the post-church crowd at Denny's, and a few have just dropped the mic and ran. I'm moving on for prosaic reasons, and I admit I still love the place. This has been the most intense work of my career, and the most rewarding.
Much like their student loans, I owe an unpayable debt to Jalopnik's commenters. You learn the humility necessary for good reporting when you know your audience not only cares deeply enough to engage, but has the experience to tell you when you're way off. I'm proud of the stories I've written, but I have a feeling that of all of them, the post with the most lasting impact will be this one.
As for behind the scenes secrets I'm now free to share: Mike Spinelli does an excellent Professor Frick. Matt Hardigree took a picture of me while I was sleeping in the hotel room we shared in New York and put it on Facebook. (Shared hotel rooms are a trademark money-saving move of Gawker Media/Blogwire Hungary Szellemi Alkotast Hasznosito Kft. Corp.) This is how Matt shows affection. I think.
And I owe Ray Wert big ups for putting up with me while I turned out top-shelf work in the early days like turning all the text on the site boldface. There's no better collection of car guys on the web, and that's due to Ray's boundless handiwork. Long may he dragon.
I'm here through Friday, and in a couple of weeks I'll have a new piece of web asphalt to drift around at Yahoo!; I hope you'll check it out. I leave knowing that as long as car lovers need a place to gather, Jalopnik will continue to thrive. Drive free, everyone.