This week, the Review is saying goodbye to a legend and I felt that it was necessary to give my two cents. I have been with the Review for 11 years now and both this industry and this office has seen plenty of changes in that time.
But Martin Forbes has been a constant rock during his tenure at the paper. Martin started at the Review less than two years before I did but is a career newspaper man, something that is increasingly rare these days.
Martin just put his final paper to bed this week after announcing his retirement a month ago. Our weekly walk across the street to Chucks for coffee was bittersweet this morning. In Martin I am losing the person who has been my biggest friend in the office, a loyal ally and an undeniably terrific editor.
He has had a tremendously positive impact on the community and on me personally and his absence from the office will be felt tangibly.
But I am also thrilled for my friend who has earned his retirement unlike few people I have encountered.
Martin is a devoted family man who loves his two grandchildren and someone who has been a strong advocate of working hard and playing hard. And, after decades serving communities in Klamath Falls and Lake Oswego, now he gets to focus even more on the latter.
I started my job here as an intern with the West Linn Tidings and, on one of my very first trips to the office, I met Martin and he promptly gave me an opportunity to get my foot in the door of this industry even further by giving me a paid assignment to do a story for our annual Perspective Magazine.
Over the years, Martin and I bonded over our mutual love of coffee breaks and I have often joked that, when he retired, the city of Lake Oswego would have to raise the wages for all the downtown baristas just to make up for the hit they will take.
Martin has always been adept at being a strong leader while never making you feel ill-at-ease. We spent many a Tuesday night writing or editing late stories to the soundtrack of whatever songs Martin was in the mood for that evening and he is one of the more naturally gifted storytellers I have come across.
Martin was also an avid sportsman back in the day, competing in high school basketball against the great Bill Walton in San Diego. He had the unenviable task of being his teams 63 post, drawing Walton as a defensive assignment. He also made an impact on the company softball team in his early years with the company and is a sneakily good tennis player.
But I will miss Martins sense of humor most of all. While guiding the Review for more than a decade and leading it through a rapidly changing industry, Martins biggest accomplishment was how he could always unify the various and varied personalities of the office. He managed to do so with a joke and a smile.
Martin, youll be missed.