2006-08-12 / Viewpoints

Publisher's Point Of View

Robert Allan Hooftallen

It is late in the day and I am drinking bourbon straight up from a shot glass. I am not far along, so if I get through this quickly enough, I should be able to maintain coherency.

I can't imagine why that kind of self-destruction is attractive to me. It goes with the territory, I suppose.

This isn't a constant crutch, honestly. I don't have any of those. In proper doses, whiskey is the brake on my train of consequences. It sharpens the blur of the happenings that speed by the side windows of my life. It puts short-term, wannabe issues in their proper perspective, forces pause on the important and presses reconciliation where it is needed.

It distills my mid-life madness and leaves only the important things on my mind.

The distilling has left behind some of these thoughts.

The Endeavor bids farewell to Heather Bauer this week and at this juncture I don't see any good in that for this company. The lining of silver is at Woodland Elementary School, where she'll get back to teaching.

People come and they go in our lives and in business. But Heather was/is truly special.

That's because she has the intangible gifts that so many people simply lack these days. She's kind. She's conscientious. She's honest. And she's patient.

Even if you took the education, the natural intelligence and the ability to learn away from her, she'd still be an asset to any company or organization, no matter what it is that they do and what it would be they would ask her to do.

She has passed on a sincerity to our customers and clients that has accurately represented the heart of this company.

She has a gift for seeing things through others' eyes and understanding their struggles and triumphs. She is without ego. She is without selfishness.

What gifts. We're sure glad we have been among the stops in your life, Heather. It has been a great relationship. And we leave it with open hearts. We hope you do, too.

On to the less important item caught in the filter.

I think Rite Aid is an allaround bad fit for Emporium. No disrespect to Jack Solveson in that statement.

It's a big fish in a little pond. The little fish don't need or deserve the predation.

Small town. Family-owned stores. Friendly faces. People like my buddy Mac who stands here at my right and who indirectly touches the subject this week.

That's the heritage. I think Rite Aid betrays it.

I like "old timers." I'd sure like to be one someday.

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