A little piece of my growing-up years shut down yesterday...after 86 years of publishing, the Albuquerque Tribune
has ceased to exist. It was the afternoon paper, and I guess people like morning papers, so now the only paper left in ABQ is...well, "the other one."
My parents always subscribed to the Tribune, and since they are current events savvy folk, I learned how to "read" the paper with them after dinner (though it was always just the comics and TV listings for me until I got a little older). When I was probably 8 or 9, they published an opinion piece that I had sent in. The topic? "Why I love cats." (I still do!) I felt like a real writer. They sent me a certificate to tell me so, too.
I got to know the columnists by reading them every week, and in some happy twists of fate, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with a few of the Tribune folk, too.
was one of my favorite professors in college. When he wasn't writing for the Trib or writing his own books and poetry, he was leading an amazing seminar on poetry and poets at UNM. I still have my final essay I wrote for that class with his words of encouragement to me as a writer inked on the last page. It meant a lot coming from him.
I got to know Kate Nelson
and Gene Grant
by virtue of working with them at KNME
. I was an intern, they were the hosts of In Focus
and The Line
. They always treated us with respect on the set, even though we definitely had no clue what we were doing at the beginning, hehheh! I was a dang good water girl, though. Kate was exceptionally helpful and patient when we produced our own episodes at the end of our tenure. Gene was always one of my favorite Trib columnists, so I'll admit to being a little starstruck when I started seeing him around KNME...but he's simply a nice guy to talk to. (Right now I'm all paranoid that I am writing about writers and I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Oh well).
Me and Kate and producer Tish Bravo on the set of "By the People" in 2005.
I got to speak with Jim Montalbano
for the first time when he called me here in Austin to interview me about going back to Albuquerque to play some shows with Susan
last May. I think I probably rattled on nervously for too long, but he was great to talk to and the article was very cool
. I thought it was neat to be an actual part of the paper I grew up with. I got to meet Jim when we went down to the Trib's offices to film a segment for TribVid
with Michael Amedeo
, another of the nice Tribunites. Of course we have video.
I don't mean to sound all funeral-like...the good thing is all these folks are great at what they do, and I am curiously awaiting where they'll pop up next. (Kate is already working for the Lt. Governor...good stuff).
So that's that. A newsroom full of nice people, great writers, and what I thought was the more cutting edge and technology-aware news daily in the city...cheers to the Tribune! Thanks for all the words.