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Ode to one giant of an editor, Andy Hobbs | Letters
In the words of an old Boyz II Men song, “It’s so hard to say goodbye,” I cannot resist humming this bittersweet refrain over the last few weeks since I was notified about the monumental departure of one of Federal Way Mirror’s brightest, most down-to-earth, and selfless editors the paper has ever employed.
Yes, yes, yes. I know that all good things must eventually come to an end. But I didn’t see this one coming. Not now. Andy Hobbs is moving on from our fair city, and in many precincts, he will be sorely missed. Oh, well, I have no other option now but to just suck it up and let the show go on.
Goodbyes are never moments of glee, oftentimes evoking bouts of sadness. I’m elated that Hobbs is leaving town with his integrity in good standing. Grandma’s saying is definitely evincing itself here: “A good name will take you around the world.”
Many of us know one-dimensional people: The erudite professor with nary a funny bone. The chanteuse that can sing her lungs out but can’t hold a five-minute conversation about current affairs. The top chef with a nasty attitude. You get the drift.
The Andy Hobbs I’ve known and will miss, however, has a tinge of Pete Hamill, the beloved New York City columnist, the celebrated Ernest Hemingway, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the oh-so-funny Erma Bombeck all rolled up into one. It’s not a stretch to toss in a little Chris Rock somewhere in the mix, too.
Hobbs is one of those people who are suited for all seasons. A natural raconteur, to date, he’s one of the funniest and brightest individuals I’ve ever known. He’s as comfortable being among the well-heeled as he’s with the hoi polloi, no doubt discipline stemming from a maturity steeped in comity and empathy.
My naivety will not delude me into believing that all was peaches and cream for Hobbs in certain sectors. I’m certain that along the way, feathers were ruffled. Stories written about people who grumbled that the reports were not objective enough. But that’s a curse no journalist can escape.
Distressing contretemps aside, I strongly believe that those shortcomings will never be able to dim the light of this indefatigable husband, father, and humanist. We will always miss his supremely talented contributions to Federal Way. May our collective goodwill help to guide him on his way to higher heights.
What I like best about Hobbs is that he’s not given into haunting jeremiads, haranguing his audience to do this and that, which produce nothing in the end. Instead, he seeks to find fertile areas to tantalize the senses, in turn jolting people to take action.
I am indebted to this man in many ways. He’s the kind of person who gives you his word and shows up to back it up with deeds. He strives hard to find a balance. And this has created an amalgam of outlets, which catapults him into unchartered territories.
His hot-off-the-press novel, “Walter’s Searchlight,” is but one example of where this man’s talents have taken him. Nandell Palmer is bought at a very high price. But a chance to work with Hobbs again, even as one of his editorial scullions, will conjure up no sympathy whatsoever on my part as I would do so in a heartbeat.
My friend, please know that I am a more enlightened man for having worked under your editorship. I will be looking out for your acclaim because the seed has been planted and is fast germinating. It’s not a matter of if but when the world will be reaping a bounty of your landmark offerings: The “Hobbsian” chronicles.
Nandell Palmer, Federal Way