This farewell note went out to the Los Angeles Times newsroom this afternoon from former staff writer Sam Quinones. He's off to freelance and write books, most immediately about America's new upper middle class heroin epidemic — he was on it before the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Date: March 3, 2014 at 2:53:54 PM PST
Subject: sending on behalf of Sam Quinones
Adios Amigos -
Though I've been gone for many months writing a book about the (suddenly recognized) heroin epidemic in America, today is officially my last day at the paper.
It's been great fun writing about Cambodian doughnut kings and palm-tree trimmers, Oaxacan hamburger chefs and stolen tubas, about transgender hookers and hellacious windstorms, kidnappers in Phoenix and Indian toothbrush gurus in Buena Park, about gangster matriarchs on Drew Street and the Mexican Mafia in every barrio around.
Such a great town. So many sublime stories to tell. ...
So here's wishing you all the best.
See you on the street, or wherever those stories happen.
Quinones has a blog where he elaborated a bit.
Today was my last official day at the Los Angeles Times after 10 years at the paper.
It was a sad thing. I’ve been a reporter for 27 years. I was very happy to have worked at what amounted to my hometown paper.
I’m very proud of the stories I produced while I was there (see below). But I decided it was time to move on, so I resigned.
Journalism, you may have heard, is changing, and I want to see if I can change with it. So I’m heading back to my freelancing roots.
I’ve got a heroin book to finish, then a podcast to start, my Tell Your True Tale workshops to teach, this blog to write — and other stuff. I hope you’ll follow it all as I wrestle with this grand experiment.