A passel of us shared lunch today with our departing Olympian writer, Shauna Farnell. We broke bread and dashed lightly over our goodbyes.
I’ll miss Shauna, as I do the others who have left or are leaving the Daily’s newsroom this summer. Copy editors Amber Williams and Greg Spielberg left a few weeks ago. Arts and Entertainment’s Laura Ball will head for New York City next month.
Greg and Amber toiled on our news desk for a bit over a year. Long enough to thoroughly enjoy their personalities as well as appreciate their production. Amber has taken a similar job at a big sister to the Daily, the Greeley Tribune, closer to her significant other. Greg found his work getting in the way of his calling, so he left to concentrate on helping get Minturn Free Radio on its feet and to focus more on his cool Web site, Streetwatergallery.com, which sells art basically.
Laura has been a stalwart here for over three years, half my own tenure with the daily. I know better, drifting across the country from paper to paper these past 20 years, restlessly and relentlessly chasing advancement opportunities before quitting that and landing by accident in the best posting of all in Vail. Lots of faces in that time. Lots of great people, all on their own journeys. You get used to their comings and goings. But Laura just feels like family. I’ll cheer her on, and miss her a great deal.
Same with Shauna. I remember back to 2000, I think, when she dropped by the office to say hello and inquire into any possibilities of work during the annual lacrosse tournament, which she participated in.
As I recall, we didn’t have an opening, but our sister paper in Summit County did eventually, and she landed there. She worked a couple of years in Summit, left for Europe for a year, and finally in fall 2004 it worked out for us both at the Vail Daily. She covered sports and wrote for the arts and entertainment section, too, straddling the two universes quite well.
Last winter, she covered the Winter Olympics in Italy for our entire company of 40-something papers. Back home, we all knew she’d get opportunities.
So now she’s off to Boulder, to work for Ski Racing magazine. I’m sure we’ll see her from time to time, when a Vail or Beaver Creek assignment brings her up the mountain.
This is the nature of our work. I think most journalists, at least those with ambitions and adventure in their hearts, move a lot. It’s part of the allure, and perhaps something in our souls that leads us to choose this calling for all its schedule readjustments, long and weird hours and pay that almost never matches the demands.
There aren’t many jobs that require the mix of knowledge, talent, flexibility and patience this one does. The people who take it on ” including Amber, Greg, Laura and Shauna ” are special. They are just the sort who actually contribute to society rather than taking from it, tick-like.
These are folks you want watching your back. In or out of the office.
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