The End of an ERA

Many of you may already know that a longtime colleague has retired and many may not.
When recently talking to Jerry Miles, with Charleston Parks and Recreation Dept, he said at the end of our conversation, “It’s been nice working with you over the years”. (I was taken back and caught off guard. My first thought was why is he saying this? Illness, cutbacks? What does he mean it’s been good working with me, he is not terminally ill?) Then he identifies he will be retiring next week on February 11TH . Mr. Jerry Miles has been a fixture with Charleston P+R off an on before I was a student in college at Marshall University. I remember hearing about Mr. Jerry Miles, from follow students who started their professional careers on Charleston. I have always been impressed by his professionalism, his foresight, adaptability, his willingness to accommodate and most of all his eternal friendliness and ability to put people at ease. These are traits that are greatly needed in this field; it is no wonder Jerry has stayed around, survived the ever changing environment and evolution of this profession. Jerry was the first Community School Recreation Coordinator in West Virginia and helped pave the way for what was to become the most extensive community recreation program in the state. Another milestone in his career was being one of the founding fathers of the West Virginia Recreation and Parks Association.

His nonchalant comment, made me ponder for the first time that retirement may actually be a real thing to be faced with someday. Well, Jerry sounds well prepared! Yes, the end of an ERA, the Jerry Miles, ERA . GOOD LUCK, IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE AND HONOR, to have been associated with him over the years.

Sincerely, Jeremiah Gagnon, ctrs