Thank you from a lucky, lucky man
You remember that T-shirt, “Last Great Act of Defiance?” The one with the raptor bird, it’s talons bared, ready to grab a mouse?
You remember that mouse, standing tall and flipping off the hawk?
In the feud between the Free Press and the Daily Sentinel, we weren’t the hawk, but we landed a few hellacious haymakers.
There’s nothing quite like beating your esteemed and worthy competition on a story, creating such a fuss that their High Sheriffs get frustrated, holler, kick trash cans and post a photo on their bulletin board exclaiming, “NEVER AGAIN!”
But there’s always “AGAIN!” In the world of daily newspapers, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. Whether you’re the bird-flipping mouse or the hawk, occasionally you end up with bite marks on your butt.
No one runs a newsroom; newsrooms have minds of their own, often schizophrenic, but minds of their own.
Be that as it may, I was parachuted into the Grand Junction Free Press to run the newsroom, with orders to do something, although no one was certain exactly what. We created our own two marching orders:
1. Keep it interesting.
2. Keep it coming.
At a Friday morning staff meeting, I was asked how I thought we were doing. I stood, pulled myself up to my full 6-foot-4, waved my left arm toward the newsroom staff and bellowed in my best baritone, “Let me tell you good people how damned lucky you are to have this outstanding crew turning out your newspaper every day!”
And then I proceeded to spend the next three and a half minutes telling them how lucky they were to have that outstanding crew turning out their newspaper every day, just to make sure they understood.
I believed it then. I believe it now.
The Grand Valley is one of God’s favorite places. I know how lucky I am to be part of it, and of the Free Press.
I thank you.
Randy Wyrick is too old to slam dunk, but too young to have made the Nixon Enemies List. He is a former Free Press Managing Editor. After a stint as a comedy writer for the Blue Collar Comedy guys, and as a truck driver, he’s back in Colorado as a writer and reporter for the Vail Daily, the Free Press sister publication in Vail.
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