PASCO, Wash-- For Paul Whitemarsh, it's time to say good-bye.
"I don't know, they say it hasn't sunk in maybe," says Whitemarsh. "I don't know if I fully appreciate the gravity of what this means. Get up monday morning and go 'I don't have to go to work' or 'I can't go to work,' or 'I guess I'll have to do yard work instead!'"
All foreign concepts to a man who has dedicated almost four decades to the parks and recreations department for the city of Pasco. His is a career that started at just $2.60 an hour.
"That was as a summer employee right out of college, summer of '70. I was hired to manage the swimming pools."
From there, his work took off, and so did his legacy. One of his proudest memories was working with the Special Olympics; an organization his work helped promote decades ago.
"We wanted some exposure, so I arranged with the Seattle Supersonics to send one of their star players at the time, a point guard named Slick Watts."
But Watts never made it to the Tri-Cities.
"I was just crushed and the media was going to be all upset with me! And nobody seemed to care, because they came down and discovered Special Olympics."
That's just one of the many memories whitemarsh has collected in the last 37 years.