NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico - I have had a great run in the news-journalism-writing business, starting at the Napa Register newspaper in Napa, Calif. and now with the Finger Lakes Times in Geneva, New York.
In between these two bracketing media experiences, I worked at six newspapers in a variety of editing/writing capacities, almost always with fun people. Fun or not, they were always interesting. Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and few other social media outfits, I have reconnected with many of those fun/interesting people.
Just yesterday, after I posted a story about entrepreneur Richard Branson, a former colleague told me about the time her husband - also a journalist - had interviewed Branson. She was kind enough to send along this photo.
The fellow interviewing Branson is Dave Koenig, who, along with his wife Darlene Bryant, worked with me at the Chico Enterprise-Record back in 1981. Gawd that was a long time ago. I came in as news editor, Dave was a reporter and I was lucky enough to get Darlene to move from reporting to copy editing. She was an excellent copy editor.
My experience at that newspaper - because the publisher was, to put it kindly, a difficult man - wasn't all that good, except for interacting with people like Dave and Darlene.
How difficult was that publisher? Well, my first day on the job, before I had even met the staff of about 25 people, he gave me the names of five people he wanted me to fire - that day. I declined, saying I needed time to evaluate everybody before any action was taken. I am still surprised to this day I kept my job for the five months that I did before I joined the faculty at Chico State University.
But, all that nostalgia aside, my big question for Dave Koenig is this:
Can he get me a complimentary ride on Branson's Virgin Galactic SpaceShipOne? I don't get seasick anymore. Promise!
4 days ago