Word Smith

Valerie Smith

Today is my last day as publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. It saddens me to write these words.

In early October, you may have read a brief article in the Post Independent which announced my planned departure, effective Nov. 6. The story explained that I intended to move to St. Petersburg, Fla., to be closer to family.

I wanted to let you, our readers, know that a family matter is the reason ” and the only reason ” I am leaving the newspaper and the Roaring Fork Valley.

My sister passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 3. On that devastating day, I made the decision to move to Florida. My mother and father, another sister and a brother all live in St. Petersburg. As are so many of us, I am extremely close to my family. People ask me if it was an easy decision. Yes, I suppose it was ” if anything at all could be considered easy when a loved one is suddenly taken from your reach.

Since Oct. 3, I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of kindness and support from people in this community and far beyond. The cards, telephone calls, flowers,

e-mails, invitations to lunch or dinner, hugs and so many beautiful expressions of condolence have made a huge difference.

For those of you who shared stories of losing a sister or brother, thank you. And for those who talked about the loss of other loving family members, thank you as well. We cried together. Somehow, that helps.

I have a very, very long way to go. But God is with me and so are my other family members, friends and colleagues.

I feel an enormous sense of pride when I look at the Post Independent today. Two-and-a-half years ago when I was selected to serve as publisher of the GSPI, I knew there would be challenges. But the good has by far outweighed the bad. We have made tremendous progress, and I attribute that to the energetic and dedicated staff at the newspaper.

There is so much I’ll miss in Glenwood Springs and Garfield County. The beautiful rivers, hillsides and Mount Sopris when it’s dusted with snow. The Glenwood Canyon bike path. The Hot Springs and the tram. Doc Holliday’s grave holds a fond place in my heart and reminds me of the rich history that is an integral part of Glenwood Springs.

I’ll miss Colorado and the many people I have had the opportunity to befriend and work with here. It’s been home for 19 years. Someday, I hope to return.

Thank you for welcoming me. My experience at the newspaper and in the community has been meaningful and fulfilling. The Post Independent, and the people we serve, can look forward to a bright future. I hope you will remain a part of it.

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