Off the Press
February 14, 2012
By Greg Farrar
To our Hall of Famer and MVP, Bob Taylor
You are an awesome sports editor, and your decision to bow out on March 9 to pursue your book-writing projects is going to make my transition from black-and-white film to color-digital photography seem like a piece of cake.
Thank you so much for the 12 years of wisdom and experience you have brought to your sports section. We hardly deserved to have you, considering your 19 “and-a-half” previous years covering Eastside sports for the old Journal-American. Any daily newspaper around Puget Sound would have been a better one with you on its staff.
It always amazed me when covering an event with you to see how grown dads and even coaches would approach you to reminisce about the times you covered their own high school athletic careers. You’re like the living encyclopedia of Eastside sports, and whenever it was relevant, any story you wrote could link to the past of a school’s athletic program.
We’ve had more time on the road together than I’ve spent with any other reporter in this business. No trip to Bellingham, Tacoma or Yakima ever seemed too long as we gabbed away the miles. I learned about your growing up in the southwest corner of the state, your awesome love for your wife Pauline and son David, and how you’ve worked with quite a few interesting characters, some sober and some inebriated, over the years.
And you certainly learned on one road trip to Yakima what I could do with the “99 Bottles of Beer” song every time we passed a highway mile marker!
Outside of sports, you made a great impact on Issaquah several years ago with your “Faith in Focus” series, introducing readers to many of the religious congregations and pastors in the area. There is still a buzz from them about the time you spent and the respect you gave them in reporting on their ministries. And I thank you for the times we spent in faith together.
Bob, your fight against cancer really brought out the best in the sports community, too. Coaches, players and parents have been really patient with us nonsports staffers for your sake, as we tried to approach the quality and thoroughness of coverage that is your hallmark.
People on the sidelines always asked me how you were doing. And when Liberty’s football team and coach Steve Valach signed a football for you, along with a cap and shirt, to wish you well in your recovery, all of us at The Press were totally blown away.
This column is running out of room, so here is a scoreboard summary of so much more that could be said. Kodiak and Katie. Bowling. “Bouncy Bob.” The Civil War. Harry Lang Stadium! The Incredible Finish to The Incredible Skyline-Bellevue football game. Agate. An alien imposter ordering chicken dinner. Issaquah High School baseball and coach Rob Reese. Secret Santa. New York Yankees Trivia King. Ulysses S. Grant.
The life lesson you have taught me by your example is of contentment with a capital “C.” No matter what the hours of work, the health scares, the travails in life, you have been the embodiment of the elusive character of contentment that we all wish we had. Well, except for that poor excuse of a computer you want to throw out the window!
This newspaper won’t fill your shoes, and all of us in the newsroom will be the lesser off for it. But we are happy for your health, your future and the friendships you have made with us. Take care, congratulations and God bless you!
With love, your teammates
Greg Farrar: 392-6434, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.