From the Cheap Seats to the big chair

Captain’s Log: Stardate 04.18.11

Oops … got carried away sitting in the big chair at the Trail Times.

But that’s where I’ve parked myself now, filling the editor’s big chair and big shoes left behind by my predecessor Tracy Gilchrist.

It’s no easy task taking control of a ship so artfully sailed for the last 16 years but I guess like the Enterprise, the Trail Times is more than just a vessel.

For our readers it’s a daily source of life in our community.

For me it’s been a provider and an identity for the last 21 years.

I’m leaving the friendly confines of the Greater Trail sports for a new challenge.

Yet the pleasure and enticement of that challenge is that it allows me to get even more involved in the Trail Times’ voyage.

Maybe I’m not Captain Kirk, perhaps more like Jean-Luc Picard and this is the Next Generation.

The changes in our newsroom, with Val Rossi and Jim Bailey, have injected new life into the hub. And more new faces will be arriving soon.

Fresh outlooks, photos and a new tempo have begun to fill the pages just from their presence alone.

As someone who has helped fill those pages for two decades, along with Times-veterans Ray Masleck and Lana Rodlie, it’s refreshing to read and see a new take on things. I’m sure many of our loyal readers will agree.

The challenge I face is to continue the pattern set before me of keeping the Trail Times a respected and enjoyed reflection of what’s happening in the community.

I’ve had the luxury of already meeting and establishing friendships with many of the great people in the area through sports.

In such a tight knit community, the crossover from civic leaders and business people to weekend warriors and sports fans is all-too-common. And the pool of dedicated volunteers knows no boundary in this corner of the province.

So while it often seems like I know half the people in the area, it also means there’s half the population I haven’t met. I’m hoping my move into the editor’s chair allows me to introduce myself to some of those folks.

For those that don’t know me, I’m sure my character traits will begin to emerge in the pages of the Trail Times over the next few months.

My affection for local sports, the people in the community, the beauty of the region and a hidden love for Family Guy, much to the chagrin of my partner Sylvia and daughter Annie, will certainly find their way into future columns.

I’m excited about the possibilities. Introducing myself to the civic leaders, getting feed back from citizens and doing my best to keep the Trail Times a big part of this region like it has been for over 100 years.

I have a few ideas to try out but I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. This newspaper has been rolling along for over a century thanks to the great team and community support.

But I believe a newspaper can play an even bigger role in the general outlook and pride we have in our hometowns.

That said, it’s a challenge and a privilege to highlight the goings on in not one but several communities that have their own source of pride and joy.

If there’s one thing I learned as Trail Times sports editor, it’s that our readership is made up from several areas, not just Trail.

Of course with the unknown great things ahead, I’m sure there will be some rough spots too.

The editor’s role is a task that requires a full commitment and with a new driver behind the wheel, there’s bound to be a few bumps and sudden swerves along the way.

But I promise to handle this 116-year-old boat as carefully as I steered my Dad’s ’72 Impala when I first hit the road.

Perhaps we’ll just have a big “L” on the back of the newspaper for a while.

So maybe give us a little wider berth for the time being and honk if you like what you see.