Sunday, February 24, 2008

Viva La Tribune

Dear Quinn,

When the day comes that you become old enough to read this, you probably won't remember most of the faces in the picture above. Except mine, naturally.

I will tell you that they were Daddy's former co-workers at the Albuquerque Tribune, that most of them held you at one point, welcomed you into a newsroom for the first time, and listened with interest every time I bragged about the most minor of milestones you achieved.

I will tell you that they were remarkable, each and every one. They were dedicated to a level of excellence that inspired your Daddy to be the best at what he does, to learn to truly love journalism. To some it's merely a vocation, but Daddy learned from these people above that it should be much, much more than that.

I will tell you that these people and your Daddy were part of a newspaper that died. It died after 86 years to causes that, I hope, will be history once you come to make career decisions of your own.

We watched it die, you and I. You were the little one in the plastic fire hat, trundling through the newsroom like an off-kilter conqueror, exploring whatever came around each corner. I was the bearded adult male, unable to fathom or hold back the wave of emotion caused by some 66 pages of newsprint and fresh ink.

I will tell you I cried on your shoulder that day, the last day of a great newspaper, because I could no longer fight back those tears. And because I knew it would be the last time I -- and you -- would be gathered around these great people inside a newsroom.

Finally, I will tell you that I miss these people dearly for reasons that will be purely nostalgic. Because this time in Daddy's life will likely be among the most challenging and the most rewarding.

So, my young man, should you grow up to some day follow in your father's footsteps, I hope you would be able to do it alongside people of similar fiber. I pray that you would show the same commitment they did at the smallest of papers, in the hardest of times.

With love,

Your Daddy


Willie J said...

Man, that was touching. I have most of the newscast on my DVR and showed Lasendra me and her appearances on the tube. It's been one helluva ride ...

Joline Glenn said...

So beautiful, Erik. And now here come some more tears. It was a great time, wasn't it? So you're not that cynical curmudgeon after all. Joline

kate said...

Just lovely. One of the saddest parts of this whole thing is that, if I'm lucky, I'll see Quinn, all those other kids and that puppy of Wendy's rarely. If ever. Nothing made a bad day better than holding a baby.

mama.nichols4 said...

After all these years your flare for words is still quite remarkable Erik. Someday Quinn will have the pleasure of reading the words of his kind-hearted father and know of his deep love for him. What a lucky kid! :)