Friday, September 02, 2005

Walt Wiley Retires

Walt Wiley retired yesterday. His insightful writing about the Parkway will be missed. I particularly appreciated the mixture of straightforwardness and indignation he brought to his stories about the illegal camping in the North Sacramento Area of the Parkway.

Goodbye Walt, you’ve given us many great words, sharing your insight and passion with us for many years. Thank you.

Here is his last column:

Walt Wiley: A long, rich career ends with chance to have fun, search for tidbits
By Walt Wiley -- Bee ColumnistPublished 2:15 am PDT Thursday, September 1, 2005

The wheel turns: Right about this time three years ago, this column began in this very spot on this same page every Thursday.

It offered readers work of the highest literary - no, wait, that was someone else's column. This column was meant to pass along a bit of gossip here and there and perhaps entertain upon occasion.

That first column started off with a little essay on what life looked like that week along the American River Parkway: hot days, cool nights, black walnut trees ripening, crows and squirrels scurrying and scolding. The salmon run hadn't quite begun.

The river was low that year. This year, it's high; no salmon yet, of course. And this year the birds aren't nearly so abundant, perhaps because of West Nile infections. However, there were a few magpies and doves, some turkeys, a coyote and a deer very much in evidence the other day.
So it's a circle, not perfect, but pretty good. And I'm going to put my pencil behind my ear and knock off, call it a day. Call it a career.

I'm retiring after being in this business for more than 40 years, 36 at The Bee. The three years of doing this column have been icing on a pretty rich cake.

For the rest of the story: