Goodbye, for now

Bottom Line columnist Toni Scott is moving on from CN&R

Almost two years ago, the Chico News & Review presented me with the opportunity to write about our local business community through a new column. I jumped at the opportunity, and figured it wouldn’t be much different from the reporting side of journalism. I was accustomed to having my name in print and my work out in public and thought an opinion column would be a similar experience.

Really, it was, with one major exception—my picture appeared next to what I wrote. I hated it. Yes, it’s probably because I’m vain and not remotely photogenic (I’m always the one ruining group photos with my eyes bugging out to epic proportions), but it was also a bit creepy seeing my face in a publication that tens of thousands people read each week.

I thought about that last month when CN&R Editor Melissa Daugherty and I discussed ending my time writing this column. In January, I became a business owner and the chair of the Chico Chamber of Commerce. It’s just not feasible for The Bottom Line to continue to be written by me with those duties.

“No more printed picture!” was my first thought, with a sigh of relief.

A few days later, my husband and I popped into Zucchini & Vine, and as we were checking out, I saw my column about their Christmas olive oil hanging behind the counter. It was then that I realized how special it has been to have my photo next to my words, my face connected to the success and struggles of our local business owners. My column gave me the opportunity to be more than just a byline—to transcend beyond the black and white text and show the human connection to commerce.

My face got to be at the forefront of some big changes in our community—the shuttering of Woof and Poof, the downtown opening of Wild Ink Press, the closure of The Graduate, the final chapter for Lyon Books, the arrival of Forcella, the end of Marie Callendar’s. It also let readers see the personal side of my life. My wedding day and the passing of my grandmother took place a few months into writing this column, and I had the chance to share those experiences here.

Maybe in the future my photo will accompany a new column in CN&R. Hopefully, it will be ridiculously flattering. But for now, I’m honored and thankful to have been welcomed, name, face and all, into these pages that our community reads and into the lives of our local business owners.