Associate editor bids grateful goodbye to his Texan family

Pete Stroud

The second best thing that happened to me in college was when my cheap, battered old laptop died on me last fall. For two months, while the campus computer guys tried and failed to save the thing, the Texan was basically my home. For two months, I wrote all my editorials, edited all the opinion pages, did all my homework and even relaxed with the occasional Netflix show after script set — all on the office computers.

I thought it would be the worst inconvenience ever, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because for those two months, I was the first one in and the last one out of the office every single day. I got to be around for all the jokes, all the late edits, all the last-minute scrambles and all the moments when you see your closest friends for who they really are and fall in love with them.

Every day for two months and most of the days that came after, I got to hear Jack’s laugh boom across the basement like a happy thunderclap.

I got to share music with Chelsea, lampoon Russian politics with Brett, start fledgling punk bands with Josh and Albert and trade insult after good-natured insult with Charlie.

I got to sit at the “cool end of the table” during budget meetings with Hannah, Sarah-Grace, Kelsey, Lauren and Alec, trying to silently make each other burst out laughing while we waited for Elisabeth and Shabab to ask what we had running the next day.

I got to while away long nights of editing with Drew, Kayla, Edgar, Susannah, Nile, Laura, Riley, Anthony, Amanda, Toni, Jacob and Jordan, trying to seem like a knowledgeable practitioner of the English language while wolfing down Pluckers wings like a basement-dwelling caveman.

And I got to take a million smoke breaks with Pu, sharing a million jokes, a million grievances and a million dreams like a couple of old souls, despite never actually smoking a single cigarette.

Because I started working here my first week after moving to Austin, my entire UT experience has been centered around the Texan. I’ve almost never had to leave the office to go hang out with friends when I finished working — everybody was here already.

I’m proud of everything I’ve done in my two years here, but perhaps it’s appropriate that most of the things I wrote or edited never had my name on them. Because the things I really want to remember about the Texan aren’t, say, that one editorial I wrote or that one lede I helped that reporter with that one time.

I want to remember the people. I want to remember the family. I want to remember the home.