Pix: The final two days at USA TODAY

When your last day on a beloved job coincides with your 30th birthday.

Thursday midday: Beginning to pack up my desk. Many hours of this.

Thursday afternoon: News celebrates June birthdays, with better than usual singing, and Flag Day. (Photo by Monica?) Fifteen minutes later…

Farewell party with champagne, cake, a top 20 list, a homepage (will be posted on the blog eventually), and lots of friends. (Photo by Bill.)

More than a little emotional. (Photo by Emily.)

The cake! Yellow with strawberries outside and in. (Photo by Linda.)

Thursday night: Farewell drinks at Gordon Biersch. Then shopping for a surprise party the next day. Emily, with us confused in the soda aisle: “They couldn’t asked two worse people to buy soda.” Me, two minutes later, as Emily buys Smirnoff Ice Raspberry Burst for icings to occur at a weekend party: “Hope your friends like raspberry.” Emily: “Hope so!”

[No picture exists of this trouble.]

Friday noon: With Bill, Kathleen and Dave, one last trip to the pastaria, my all-time favorite part of cafeteria Gannett, the Breaking News Cafe.

Friday noon: We eat outside on a beautiful day. In nearly seven years at USAT, this is only my second time eating outside. It feels great.

Friday afternoon: About that surprise party? Brett thinks he’s tricking me into a final going-away party, but we’re actually getting him to go to a surprise baby shower. Wife Sarah visits, and there’s an all-bacon potluck menu and everything. But there’s more! Birthdays! Emily and Monica surprise me with cake. Then Monica and Megan surprise Emily with cake. Then Monica and Desair surprise Megan with cake. Crazy.

The last surprise? Emily’s Smirnoff buying had a secret purpose! Chet ices me and Brett. Up goes the Raspberry Burst! (Photo by Emily.)

Then back upstairs to finish packing, write farewells, discuss final stuff, and have a last drink with Lou and Steve as we overlooked the pond.

In what felt like a different world, the inbox filled up with happy notes.

Finally, late in the day, the last of what stayed and what went.

Quarter of seven, one last look back.

Friday night: Celebrating the birthday with the family. Pasta, fish and angel food cake with chocolate chocolate chip ice cream. Wonderful.

Then home and sleep before all that’s next.

4 thoughts on “Pix: The final two days at USA TODAY”

  1. What a great chronology Patrick. All the best in your new NPR adventures. Just remember to load up on podcasts to listen to on the train.

    You will be missed.

    Chuck

  2. Don’t know how I missed this one… it was a great day! (Except for the part where you left. But you already know how I feel about that. Friends don’t say goodbye.)

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