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2017 Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox

Marmion’s Manly Man: A farewell worth the 500 words

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:12 p.m. CDT

My goodbyes never fall into the “graceful” category. For me, the end of a phone call resembles more of a scorching train wreck packed with runaway sentiment rather than a polite and coherent parting. However, like most of my columns, I plow through them and arrive at a point. Well, after nine months of columns filled with Horatian satire, ridiculous idea development and comparisons that run on like this list, I must begin my farewell.

On July 1, I will begin a six-week training period at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis before entering into my Plebe year at the academy. Despite the rather shortened summer and the incoming assortment of yelling, drilling and more yelling, I remain excited for the future change in my life.

Could I continue writing this column, I would do so with much enjoyment and even greater use of superfluous figurative language to convey odd images. But, Maryland and Illinois share a slight distance discrepancy. So, for all those intrepid readers of the Kane County Chronicle who sat down and read a bit of my lunacy, I thank you. I must apologize for any paper cuts sustained when attempting to find my column in the newspapery depths.

I wish to also express gratitude toward Dr. Richard Holinger (also a columnist for the Chronicle) for both putting up with my journalism class and introducing us to this columnist opening. Dr. Holinger taught me a number of things regarding writing, including absolutely avoiding the use of incredibly unnecessary adverbs except in awesomely awesome cases (and when attempting to make a magnificent teacher laugh).

For every column I have written, my editor, Kathryn Gresey, has combed through them and added some well-needed hyphens, as well as deleted some not so well-needed commas. She afforded me the opportunity to write for this readership, and she trusted me enough to make deadlines and not to make adverb jokes. For that, I both apologize to her and thank her. 

Since a bit before I started writing for the Chronicle, I have been with a lovely girl named Julia. From the worst and best of my columns, she has read each one, braved through the multitude of terrible puns and dated my sorry tush nonetheless. I remain very thankful for every day that I spend with her, and I will miss her a lot in these coming weeks. Julia, I love you, and I suppose embarrassment via print trumps my bad idea list.

Lastly, I’ve got to thank my family. The amount of times I asked them, “Can I put this sentence in a newspaper?” could have driven a deaf robot insane. They stood by me and revised every single column, and I cannot convey my gratefulness enough. Thank you for giving me an amazing life.

When things seem at their worst, remember to look up and laugh.

• Kurt Zepeda is a St. Charles resident and recent graduate of Marmion Academy in Aurora. He enjoys running, writing and the occasional confection. Contact him at

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