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Why I'll Miss Clayton and Richmond Heights

While I'm excited to begin a new opportunity, it will be awfully hard to leave St. Louis.

Dear loyal Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch reader: It is with mixed emotions that I inform you I will be leaving Patch on Oct. 10 to begin a new journey.

I have accepted a position with Farm Journal Media in Mexico, MO, where my focus will be social media and reporting with an emphasis on machinery. If you've met me, it probably comes as no surprise that I do not come from an agriculture background. Nonetheless, I'm excited to put on a new kind of reporter's hat and dive headfirst into this new field.

My wife, Julie, grew up in unincorporated St. Charles County, spent a lot of time in 4-H and taught me the beauty of going to the fair every year. Her family raised Oxford sheep for many years. My maternal grandparents still live in a farmhouse in rural Tennessee and helped teach me the value of life outside the city.

I've got a lot of learning to do, but these are just a few of the memories that inspire me to know more.

I want you to know that I chose to report on Clayton and Richmond Heights before I ever visited St. Louis to any great degree. I had the opportunity to choose other cities—and there are many wonderful communities in our area—but I knew with just a little research that this was where I wanted to be.

I haven't been disappointed. Far from it: Your overwhelming kindness, encouragement and civic engagement helps explain why both of these fine cities will celebrate 100 years of excellence in 2013.

You have welcomed me into your homes, offices and classrooms. You have humored me by meeting for coffee to learn more about Patch, shared incredible stories about exceptional people and challenged me to hone this community news website into a service for everyone.

I'm pleased to report that Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch will continue humming along, no thanks to me. St. Louis has an unrivaled group of editors who daily identify stories intended to inform, educate and delight. Please continue to send your story ideas, feedback and blogs—an eager audience awaits you.

Thank you sincerely for your hospitality.

camille greenwald September 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Oh Nate! Such a loss for us but such a wonderful opportunity for you! You have always been present, enthusiastic, supportive, fair and engaging in your writing. I can't tell you how many times I've told people to "call Nate", or thought "I'll read how Nate covered it". We will miss you in RH!
Nate Birt (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Thank you so much, Camille! It's been a pleasure getting to know you, and I hope we get to work together again in some capacity down the road. Your willingness to serve as a source and your support are so appreciated!
Steve Lichtenfeld September 28, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Best wishes, Nate, on your new challenge out in mid-Missouri. Your dedication, enthusiasm, and objective writing style will carry your journalism career far. We will miss you, and yes, Nate, you should take credit for getting the Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch up and running and being a strong reportorial voice for our communities.
Nate Birt (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Thank you, Steve, for your kind words and ongoing support. I wish you all of the best — I know you'll continue to play an active role in making Clayton a great place to live and work.
Holly Edgell September 28, 2012 at 05:30 PM
All the best, Nate! We'll always have Kaldi's -- and Starbucks in Columbia... :)
Diane Meyer September 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Nate, so sorry to learn you're leaving. No one could have done the Patch better than you.
Myra Lopez September 28, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Congratulations Nate! All the best to you and your family on this new journey.
Central Christian School September 28, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Nate, your kindness and enthusiasm will be missed in our community. Thanks for your partnership. Our school wishes you the best as you and your family begin a new chapter in your lives.
Christopher Reilly September 28, 2012 at 07:42 PM
All the best, Nate! No doubt, you'll excel wherever you go.
Mark Cockson September 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Hello, editor Nate: Social media/farm machinery? At first I thought this was almost as funny as your nickname. Then it began to sink in: your editorial & s.m. skills were reaped by one of the oldest & most prestigious ag. Media groups in the world. You & your growing family will love the history & progressive traditiqons of Mexico, Missouri. Congratulations! Blogger Mark
Mark Cockson September 29, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Hello, Nate: Oops! Better check my last comment for typo's! Seriously, Nate, thank you for editing & polishing my blogs, especially headlines & hyperlinks. I hope to reach the milestone of 100 blogs before you head north to Mexico. I can give you a quick tutorial on steam-powered tractors before you leave, so just call me, maybe! Lol, bloggger Mark
Gina Mitten September 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Nate: You have been so great here and we will miss you! Wishing you nothing but the best in your next endeavor and hope you will keep us posted on the journey!
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Thank you, Holly! That's exactly right. Let me know if you're in the area sometime and we'll grab a cup. :)
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Diane, you're an asset to Clayton. Thank you for your kind words and all of the great blogs and story ideas. I so value your readership.
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Thanks so much, Myra!
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Dear Central Christian School friends: Thank you SO much! It has been my pleasure to share news from your school, and I hope our Patch partnership continues. You are a wonderful example of the great things Clayton offers the St. Louis community. Keep shining!
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Thank you so much, Chris! It was a pleasure to work with you. All the best in your future endeavors.
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Thank you, dedicated and loyal Blogger Mark! It's been an honor, and I will absolutely need a primer on steam-powered tractors. Hope you can visit us out in Mexico one of these days. Have a great start to your week, and I'll talk to you soon.
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Gina, thank you so much. You've been so supportive, and I really appreciate the time and hard work you've dedicated to representing both Richmond Heights and the larger area in your upcoming role at the Missouri Capitol. All the best to you and your family.
Linda Goldstein October 01, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Nate, you've done such a wonderful job at Patch, and we really appreciate all your terrific work in keeping our community well-informed. We'll miss seeing you at our meetings, so please come visit us if you're ever back in town. All the very best to you as you start this new chapter!
Nate Birt (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Thanks so much for your kind words, Linda! I've had a ball here, and I would love to come back to visit. Thank you for all you do for Clayton!
Judy Goodman October 04, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Oh my gosh...Nate, I wish you the very best with your new venture! However, I must say, we will truly miss your presence and ongoing coverage of what makes communities great. You have been "on the ground" with your stories, highlighting the people and places that add to the vibrancy of our daily life. You have informed us, entertained us and showcased all the local details that media sources seem to miss these days. A huge thanks for your dedication and effort. You have been truly valued and much appreciated in Clayton and Richmond Heights!! Take care, Judy
Nate Birt (Editor) October 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Thanks so much for everything, Judy! I wouldn't have met half the people I did if it hadn't been for all of your fabulous connections. Thank you for the many great story tips, and I hope you'll continue to send them in! I've forwarded remaining business profile suggestions to my colleagues. This is an exciting time as Clayton and Richmond Heights approach 100 years!

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