Writing about a fascinating subject is one of the highest highs a journalist can experience. Learning about the passing of a respected longtime contributor is one of the lowest lows.
I interviewed Glenn Lucky on Aug. 8 and delighted in hearing a first-person account of his inspiring life. That same day, Bob Thomas’ final column appeared in the Nevada Appeal. Two evenings later, Bob passed away.
Glenn and Bob both have contributed greatly to our community. Glenn says his No. 1 hobby is making people smile, and he succeeds mightily. The physical and mental fortitude he displays during his near-daily bike rides gives us all a sense of strength. Bob served our community during three terms on the state Assembly, on the Carson City School Board and on the Nevada Welfare Board. He nobly served our country in the Army Air Corps.
At 87, Bob seemed to be slowing in recent weeks. He’d ceded half his column space to a conservative acquaintance, choosing to write every other week. Then he decided to stop writing. I asked him to write a farewell column, and he agreed to do so — provided we use the headline “Farewell, River City.” We gladly accommodated that final request.
Looking over that column now, one can see it’s imbued with a poignant sense of finality, but also an air of peace. Bob talks about his experiences writing for the Appeal on and off for nearly 40 years. He reflects in his next-to-last paragraph about what connecting with the community via his column has meant to him over the years. The final words in the column aren’t his customary two-sentence bio; they’re “Cheers, Bob.” That’s how he generally signed off in the emails I received from him.
Many of you knew Bob well. I got to know him during several lunches, during which he’d share items from his long list of life experiences. I’d hoped those lunches would continue after his retirement as a columnist.
Glenn shared a very different set of experiences during our lunch at Mom & Pop’s Diner, one of his favorite dining spots. He reflected on his long bicycle rides from Indian Hills to Washington, D.C., and South Lake Tahoe. He talked with excitement about throwing out the first pitch the following night at a Reno Aces game, as well as his trip next month to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. His overcoming-the-odds story is well-known in our region. People in Las Vegas and other points afar might know it after this weekend, as The Associated Press has picked up Tuesday’s story about him for distribution to its client newspapers statewide.
In very different ways, Glenn and Bob have made Carson City a better place to live. We offer both a simple and heartfelt message.
Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.