An island of inspiration |

An island of inspiration

Don Rogers

One of those islands came at the back of a recent Editor & Publisher, penned by one of Vail’s part-timers, Tony Ridder, about his father, Bernie.Tony’s dad is one of those icons who built an empire from humble beginning, in this case one of the venerable newspaper companies: Knight-Ridder.Tony’s piece is a tribute to his father, who died last month. He describes a no-nonsense leader who kept the advertisers and prominent people out of his newsrooms with no small measure of vigor. Us hardcore wretches heartily cheer what to the business types seems an awfully stiff-backed approach to newspapering.We also gravitate to the vision of a fellow remaining curious and totally committed to the welfare of the communities and papers where his empire reached, right up to his death in his mid-80s. He didn’t leave the Knight-Ridder board of directors until he was 76. Not knowing him personally, we imagine him as a lion, no doubt ferocious when it came to his papers.His dad didn’t give him a free ride, either, Tony writes, describing how his father told his son he’d be cut if he couldn’t measure up.We especially like what Tony says was his father’s “oft-stated goal, in any situation, was to do what he called the “right thing.'”There’s the nugget of wisdom on this island.Pile it onAround this time of year, we struggle with the “right thing,” we really do. Especially years like this one, passing as it has from bone-dry summer drought to an embarrassment of riches piling white and fluffy on the ski hills.As we write, we’re waiting on the storm promising to dump up to three more feet this weekend on what already was a record amount at Mid-Vail.Burnt from all elections all the time for the past month or more, peaking with the endless election night, the journalists are restless, making the case for the right thing being on one of the ski mountains open now, playing hooky. Or was that carefully researching the vibe where it really counts?Yeah, that’s the ticket. Let’s call it research and reporting, work. Maybe complain a little about having to go out in the cold and all.In any case this is great news, if you remember last year right about now, not a stitch of snow to be seen anywhere. Pile it on!D.R.

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