By David Ficarri
-Diversions with Dave-
After previously resigning in late February, our own leader Sonny Jani has decided he just couldn’t walk away from the paper he created, Gazette 2.0. Now, I’m usually on the opinion end of this business and not into breaking news, but Sonny reached out to me to break this exciting story.
As we discussed his motivations for staying, he simply said, “I know the paper would be in good hands with Sonja [Reis] and Caitlin [Spitzer], but I really wasn’t ready to hand the reins over just yet. Like Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, I feel I have more to give and more to prove so I felt my retirement was just a little premature.”
I then asked him how he would break the news to the team and community and he felt that doing it as a news story would be the most appropriate way. I followed up with why he chose me for the assignment and he just replied with a smile and said, “You’re like Raymond, David, everybody loves you.” We both laughed.
We touched on other topics like his Netflix movie “Man In The Middle” and all his other ventures, but he said no matter what he does, his heart and soul always lead him back to the community that took him in as a kid from India and molded him into a well-known member of his community. He added, “You can’t extinguish the English language when it’s lit.”
I remarked that’s very profound but what exactly does it mean. He said that’s what I’d have to figure out for myself.
So, there we sat, two members of the Sto-Rox Class of ‘88 discussing our lives and the journey that brought us to this point. I could see in his eyes the pride he had for his community and the paper.
Seizing on the moment and good mood, I told him I think since I’m doing news stories now as well, I probably deserve a raise.
He replied, “Just because everybody may love David, it doesn’t mean I do.” We both laughed again, but me not as much. I at least got a free meal out of the deal so it wasn’t a complete loss.
Now, the journey and the paper will continue with Sonny at the helm. He said he planned on having a team meeting to clear up any concerns or questions the team might have but he added that he’s always been confident in allowing them to carve out their own identity.
“Like Michael Jordan said when he came out of his brief retirement, ‘I’m back,’ he said with a broad smile. “Now, let’s get back to work.”
I asked him for one final comment before we go and he said, “If people read this story and are inspired by me and my journey, then they’ll take away one thing. “
“Which is?” I asked.
“If they read the first letter of the first ten words of this story, it says, ‘April Fools.’”