Johnny Lowe passed away last week. He was one of the good guys.
Johnny and his wife spent a lot of time in their second home just outside of Ridgway. He was a retired real estate developer. But he was also a man of faith with a sense of humor that wouldn't stop.
Johnny came in to the Plaindealer office every year to change his subscription address. Thirty minutes later I would feel like I just chewed the fat with my best friend.
I'll never forget the first invitation he gave me, to play low-stakes poker with a group at a local establishment.
"You play poker for money at a local establishment?” I asked.
"Sure we do," he said. "We'd accept your money any time."
"What would you do if the sheriff walked in and saw you gambling?” I asked.
"We'd accept his money, too," he said.
All our best to the Lowe family. We'll sure miss Johnny.
Speaking of good guys, Ouray Police Chief Justin Perry is officially into his second go-round of serving as interim city administrator, after the Ouray City Council appointed him to the post following their dismissal of former City Administrator Katie Sickles.
Perry will do a good job, again, and perhaps this time apply for the job. Ouray certainly favors those with whom it is familiar, and Perry certainly is that. He's also a hard-working individual who genuinely cares for his community.
Council will discuss at the end of the month a process for which it will seek to fill the administrator position. Here's hoping Perry is in the mix.
And about that process, I've never understood - and the Town of Ridgway did this too when hiring a new marshal - why the city invites the public to meet the candidates.
Having interviewed hundreds of job applicants in my 35-year newspaper career, here and in my corporate days, and having gone through hours and hours of training on what you can and cannot ask an applicant, I don't understand how opening applicants up to risky questioning can be a good thing.
If you're going to invite the public to meet the candidates, then you're going to value the public's opinion and, thus, you are making them part of the interviewing process. Now, what happens if a member of the public asks a candidate an EEOC question that is illegal, such as about the candidate's race, religion, pregnancy status, age, marital status or some other identifier? Wouldn't the candidate, if not chosen, be able to claim that he or she didn't get the job due to being judged on an illegal question?
Intended or not, I just think it opens the door.
I received a nice note from a Realtor in Telluride this week who said that each week he goes out of his way to obtain our "exceptional paper." He called our work a shining light. "For this I cannot thank you enough," he wrote. "(You) are my oasis in this mad sea of humanity."
I'd relay more but I'm late for my appointment with my haberdasher. I'm being fitted for a larger hat.
I watched a bit of the State of the Union address. It reminded me of a joke told by President Reagan:
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession…and I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first," he quipped.
These days, political humor is so one-sided: it's only funny if you're on the side that's telling the joke. There has been no shortage of presidential humor in the past, though.
George W. Bush: "These stories about my intellectual capacity really get under my skin. You know, for a while I even thought my staff believed it. There on my schedule first thing every morning it said, 'Intelligence Briefing.'"
John Adams: "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."
Ulysses S. Grant: "I know only two tunes: one of them is Yankee Doodle - and the other isn't."
Jimmy Carter: "My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers."
Barack Obama: "These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I'm not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be."
Chester A. Arthur, and a precursor to "fake news": "If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth."
Harry Truman: "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."
Alan Todd is co-publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer. He can be reached at email@example.com.