On my 65th birthday last November, my daughter Kate and her husband Joseph gave me a pretty, little sack. Inside, I found two tiny, red tennis shoes and a note:
“Time to put the house on the market . . . “
I was left with a dumbfounded smile as my wife yelled out in a high-pitched exclamation that made Kate and Joseph giggle.
They were going to have a baby.
Jan, my wife, and I had “threatened” to just sell our house and move to Fort Smith to be grandparents when and if Kate became pregnant. I’m not sure if she and Joseph thought we were serious or not.
But the timing turned out to be perfect. As a 65-year-old, I was suddenly eligible for elderly benefits. Social Security will actually give me a raise because in recent months BryantDaily.com had lost a couple of revenue streams that had left me treading water.
For Jan, though she doesn’t turn 65 until Christmas Eve, it proved to be a perfect situation too because, with the Covid-19 protocols, she had gone from teaching art to all of the students at Bryant Elementary School in her own classroom to walking the halls of the school to teach them in their own classrooms, “art on a cart”. Already suffering with sore feet from standing on the concrete floors to teach for over 30 years, the constant moving about had worn her out.
And so, we’re retiring and moving to Fort Smith to be grandparents.
The more pertinent question as far as you are concerned, dear readers, is that BryantDaily.com will go dormant. I’ll keep it “up” as an archival resource for a while and, this summer, there will be coverage of the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team, but it will probably be spotty since we’ll be selling our house, finding one in Fort Smith, packing, moving, unpacking, etc.
I am so very grateful to you for visiting the site over the years. It’s certainly been a joy covering Bryant sports over the last 25 years. (And before that covering Benton sports and, before that, Fayetteville sports).
It’s a bittersweet decision. We have so many friends in Saline County and following Bryant athletics has been great. But life is short, and grandbabies are only babies so long.
As you can see, the ads on BryantDaily.com have been pulled down, but I am so grateful to all those who advertised on the page and helped it continue, particularly Pat Blakely at Bin There Dump That, Laryssa Calley and Shelter Insurance, and Tim Hall and Chad Hendrix at Everett Buick GMC.
I am deeply grateful for the friendship and the stellar photography of Rick Nation and Kevin Nagle. Great guys and wonderful photographers. They shot pictures for me (and you) while working fulltime elsewhere.
Over my 34 years as a sportswriter, I have seen many, many athletes come through and move on along with their parents. I appreciate them all.
But the folks I’ll miss most will be the coaches. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to get to know most of them pretty well. They are some of my favorite people. I admire them so much. I mean, anyone whose livelihood depends on the whimsy of teenagers, has my respect. They have to motivate them and form them into teams and responsible teammates.
I thank the coaches for being so gracious and patient with me.
I once described myself as something of a “remora”, a suckerfish which has latched onto the great white shark that is Bryant athletics and is hanging on for the ride. It’s been a doozy.
Thank you for all you have done for our town, school, and kids. I will always cherish the article you wrote about Jake when he signed. I will also miss working with Jan at BES. Congratulations though because you both deserve it and that sweet baby is so blessed to have you!
Thanks for all you have done, Rob. Hundreds of Bryant parents are forever grateful for you preserving the memories of our kids’ activities.
All roads/sports writers three degrees of BRYANT AR. THE Patrick Clan will be missed but Ft Smith will be blessed with you two as GRANDparents‼️‼️ Enjoy living and loving your retirement. Everyday is a FRIDAY. LOVE. Queen YAYA
Can’t forget you and Jim LaGrone covering the 2004 Hornet upset of #1 ranked Central Tigers Football team which was both on radio and later on video. What a great team you guys made! Thanks too for all the football history you have put up on your website. It has been great! Thanks for all you have done for Bryant!!! Good luck on your future!
Many memories from lots of pictures and articles about our girls’ basketball and soccer careers. You will be missed Rob Patrick. Well done!!!
Thank you for your service! Long time follower and I hate to see you go.
“Thank you” doesn’t seem enough, Rob! You are a good man with a heart for our students! Thank you for providing a spotlight on all the “good” in our community! Best wishes to you and Jan!
Rob I am so grateful to have known you!! You are one fantastic sports writer and announcer!! Thank you for all of the wonderful articles you have written about football and basketball in particular!! I have felt so blessed to have grandsons playing both of these sports over these past 7 years…4 World Series in baseball and 3 State Championships for Football and you covered everyone of them and so much more! As a grandparent I fully understand your desire to be near your 1st grandchild!! It is one of God’s greatest gifts!! We wish you and Jan a wonderful retirement and many happy years to come! Kathy & Paul Dotson ( grandparents of nine)
Words cannot express the great things that you have done for Bryant athletics. I will ALWAYS appreciate your coverage and help in growing the Bryant Volleyball program while I was coaching. I wish you and Jan all of the enjoyment and happiness that can come with retirement and becoming grandparents.
I have truly enjoyed reading your work. I can’t remember the date i caught on to your coverage but i know i looked forward to it after the games or tournaments. The Tipton Family thanks you and wishes you the best in retirement. Grandkids are awesome!
You can’t do better than retiring and being a grandparent. Two best jobs on the planet. Congratulations.
I will miss your sports updates and stories about the Bryant Hornets. Best wishes, and enjoy that new grand baby.
I wasn’t a big sports person, but you wife changed my life. She taught me how to take something I loved and turn it into a career. Thank you, Jan Patrick. Your devotion to your students has made me the person I am today! Both of you will be surely missed and remembered.