"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

President Abraham Lincoln

We never imagined this day coming, but it has. It is painful. Giving our “baby” up isn’t easy. It is a major part of Donna and I and of the area. We will miss it dearly and I know many of you will. However it is time.
The Mountain Echo brought us all together, gave us a chance to share the excitement of living in such a wonderful place, the people who make it wonderful and the excitement of being a part of it and its history.
Yes, it has been an exciting, often dramatic 40 plus years — 40 plus years that neither Donna nor I would give up for anything.
Sally and Kira had a dream and a vision when they started the Mountain Echo in 1977. It evolved from their dream into our dream and now it is time to let it go gracefully to sleep. We can all visit its issues in the Fort Crook Museum and “remember when.”
Knowing what is going on and being a part of it is extremely important. Now, it is time for others with a dream to step forward and either support the remaining area paper, the Intermountain News, or do what Sally and Kira did and start their own.
Donna and I have no intention of moving. This is our home. You are our friends and there is no place on earth we’d rather live or anyone we’d rather share our lives with.
Thank you for your friendship, loyalty and love over the years! You are all wonderful and we will be here!
Thank you!


As I sit here trying to write my final Blue Skies I am pretty blank. I am trying to remember exactly how many years I have been writing Blue Skies. I know it has been quite a long time. I started writing Blue Skies because it seemed that everywhere you turned it was always bad news we were reading. I wanted to do something that was positive. I wanted to give people a place they knew they could read something good each and every week. I pitched the idea to Walt and he was happy to let me go with my idea and gave me permanent space. There were many times I almost decided to stop writing the column, but then randomly I would see someone in town and they would tell me how much they enjoyed the column. So I continued on. It is hard to believe this will be my last one.
Blue Skies is not where my relationship with Walt and Donna and the Mt. Echo began.
It started when I was a student at Big Valley High School and I started writing the high school column. I can also remember them being very supportive of me when I was competing in public speaking events while in high school. I guess we made that connection because I am the same age as their daughter. They have always just treated me like one of their own.
After I got married I spent time working for them directly, selling ads, doing ad layout, covering sports and meetings, writing feature stories and even had a column back then called Vis’a’Vis Val. A piece of who I am has always been in journalism.
Even after I moved on to other jobs, I always wrote a little here and there for the Mt. Echo. They would ask me to cover meetings, do special stories and sometime even cover for them on a rare occasion they were able to get away.
Finally, I settled in with doing this column and an occasional piece or two here and there. In my current position, I have had the opportunity to work with Walt and Donna on advertising and press for Mayers.
I always knew they would retire sooner or later. They deserve it! They are some of the most hard-working people I have ever met. They are generous in so many ways that most don’t know about. They are dedicated to this community and genuinely love the people, organizations and businesses within the community.
I have learned a lot from Walt and Donna about honesty and integrity and being true to who you are. Their work ethic is something to be admired. It has been a privilege to learn from them, work for them and be their friend and honorary daughter. I know that I will always be able to count on them for support and friendship.
Now, Walt just won’t have to wonder when I am going to get my column turned in!
Enjoy your retirement! You deserve it! I will miss this part of our relationship, but know where to find you!


Letters to the Editor

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