'CAUSE I'M a '90s kid, I'm gonna go out on a limb and quote the punk-rock band Blink-182 with the song "I Miss You," as that is the sentiment I most feel toward my Daily News family, for this is my final column.
From Molly Eichel to Dan Gross, and to Stu Bykofsky before him, the Daily News has seen a broad array of talented people write its gossip column, and I have had some big shoes to fill.
When the powers that be moved me from City Hall to the gossip gig almost a year ago, I thought it was a strange beat for me to be inheriting. I know no gossip or celebrities - let alone when said people are in town, where they hang out or how they tip.
But in the short time I've authored this page, I've been incredibly blessed by publicists, tipsters, colleagues, my editors, but foremost by you readers - who have guided and shaped my storytelling along the way.
I'll never forget:
* Jiving with Mayor Nutter in 100-degree heat in Dilworth Park, with Stevie Wonder crooning "Isn't She Lovely" a few yards in front of us.
* Or having Tyra Banks fondle my head in an attempt to beautify me before a photo shoot with HughE Dillon.
* How about that time I did Jameson shots with porn star Mary Carey at the Gold Club (1416 Chancellor St.) to celebrate its 11th anniversary? I had to interview Carey, of course, because she was exploring a bid for mayor.
* Once I helped feed some homeless folks with Jon Bon Jovi underneath Suburban Station. He's been a longtime supporter of Project HOME.
* Who'd have thought, as a gossip columnist, I'd get credentialed to cover Pope Francis, or interview Festival of Families officiate Mark Wahlberg, my high-school crush since his days as "Marky Mark"?
In penning these columns, I've tried to inject some degree of humor, while keeping readers informed of matters they maybe didn't know the night before. It's not always easy but it's always been gratifying.
For these reasons and more, I believe I've become a better writer, and for that, I am grateful.
I'm not exactly sure where I'll land next, but I'd love to stay in touch with many of you. Please follow me on Twitter @RuffTuffDH.
I also want to offer up a special thanks to my editor, Gar Joseph, who took a chance on hiring me from a crowded pool of candidates to work here at the Daily News, The People Paper.
On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN