Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RIP James Meadow, Former Rocky Reporter

It might seem like all I do is ride a bicycle and write about it but actually I was a metro newspaper reporter around the country for more than 20 years, making work pitstops everywhere from metro New York to South Florida to Denver to Seattle.

In Denver in 1995, I was hired by the Rocky Mountain News for a temporary job that was supposed to last a mere month. One month led to two months and two months led to three months and the executive editor kept on trying to pull one over on the finance people to keep me on staff until the one-month temporary gig eventually ended after three months.

I covered a fast-growing county south of Denver called Douglas County and I kicked ass and still have some terrific clips, including coverage of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the secretary to the city attorney in the city of Castle Rock, the county seat of Douglas County.

I thought I had earned a full-time reporting job at the Rocky -- as it was known in its day -- and I was mighty bummed when I was called into the editor's office after three months and was told that the temporary job that was only supposed to be a month but lasted three was going to end.

That night when I was home I received a phone call from another reporter at the Rocky who contacted me to tell me that I did a kickass job and that he was also bummed to see me go.

His name was James Meadow.

This week, a former colleague at the Rocky sent me an email telling me that James died Sunday -- from injuries sustained while bicycling in Chatfield State Park. For more on James, you can read here.

James died a mere two days after the Rocky closed its newspaper after 150 years. That was sad enough. But to hear about James' passing was horrible. He was a terrific wordsmith and even a better person -- and I will never forget James reaching out to me after the Rocky told me the paper didn't have the money to keep me on staff.

RIP James Meadow.

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