When I first started this job as editor of The Whistler Question I was 29 years old and had never been at the helm of a newspaper before.
Over the last four years, there have been many moments I’ve thought, “Who put me in charge of an entire paper?” There have also been moments I snuck away and cried (usually on production day). There have even been moments of frustration where I didn’t think I could do it anymore.
But, far eclipsing all of that, were the moments of triumph, fulfillment and pride.
As we prepare to say good bye to this 41-year-old Whistler institution, more than anything, I feel a deep gratitude for the personal and professional lessons I learned during these years.
All of those instances where a story fell through or a photo went missing or a breaking story happened on production day taught me that all problems have solutions; you’ll figure it out — because you have to.
I learned that sometimes done is better than perfect. This paper also taught me how to recover when I made a mistake — a misspelled name or an incorrect date after three people have copy edited a page — and not spend days beating myself up.
And now, as we publish the last edition, it’s teaching me one final lesson: how to let go.
It doesn’t feel good to be the last editor at a newspaper. You wonder if you could’ve done more, or done something differently or had a little more foresight. I will forever be the last in a long (long) line of people who have held this job over the years.
But if reading all the notes sent to us from former reporters, editors, publishers and photographers has taught me anything over the last week it’s that in the end, I will be but one of dozens of people who helped chronicle four important decades of this community.
As you’ll see from the stories in the paper this week, The Question was deeply entwined with the history of Whistler. It’s impossible to read the reminiscences of long-ago Questionables without also reflecting on the people, events and changes that made Whistler what it is today.
This paper started out as a handwritten newsletter, painstakingly pieced together in an A-frame house on Matterhorn Drive (coincidently the same street I lived on for years). It’s gone on to win many awards, spawn many careers and, sure, start many fires. But my deepest hope — the idea that will help me move on — is that it’s made a lasting mark connecting this community and sharing its stories.
It might be gone, but it told the first draft of Whistler’s history and that legacy will forever endure.