Nick Grabbe interviews me July 4, 2010. Photo by former Gazette reporter Mary Carey
I first met Nick in January of 1982 when he reported on the grand opening of my karate school at the Mt Farms Mall in Hadley, then called "The Dead Mall." He got the facts right, spelled my last name correctly and -- even more important -- allowed me to whiz high speed karate kicks within centimeters of his head.
After publishing a hundred or more of my acerbic Letters To The Editor over the next ten years he asked me to write a monthly column for the Amherst Bulletin in 1991. A paid position I proudly held until February, 2004 when I resigned over not being allowed to pen a follow up column on "The Vagina Monologues" being performed at Amherst Regional High School, after the first column sparked international attention.
Nick would routinely meet every Friday with Town Manager Barry Del Castilho in his office for years on end. I always thought it demonstrated a routine coziness reporters should not have with such a high ranking governmental source.
(Kind of like having a going away reception in the Town Room at Amherst Town Hall, the current seat of government, to mark his departure.)
But, in spite of a few differences over the past many years, I will miss seeing his byline.