“Say it ain’t so!” That was my first reaction when Catherine Minolli told me she was going to retire from her job as editor of the Tri-City Times in September. Catherine is one of my very favorite people and closest friends. And believe it or not, I’ve never even met her! At least, not face to face.
“Cat” and I have exchanged countless emails and phone calls, and, of course more than 260 columns but we’ve never graced the same room. I really hope that changes one of these days.
As you know I grew up in Almont and used to write for the old Almont Times-Herald but have lived near Washington D.C. for more than 25 years. Catherine gave me a chance to dust off my old writing skills and join the TCT group of columnists and I loved every minute of it.
For more than two decades she has, as she said, pounded the pavement and the keyboard to bring us countless stories about the local communities. And she has shared her intellect as well as her heart and soul in her weekly column “Observations in Ink.”
I can tell you from first-hand experience that coming up with an idea for a column and then doing all of the research involved and finally writing it can be a very time consuming process. I did it for years after I retired and only had one column a week to write. But Catherine continued to do it while simultaneously working on dozens of other stories and projects at the paper week after week.
Readers have been blessed with her unique insight and experiences. She’s dazzled us with new thoughts and ideas and introduced us to and shared personal stories of her wonderful family. She bought us joy and brought us to tears at times.
I met Tino the Wonder Cat and all of the other memorable critters living in her little piece of heaven in the woods. I learned how to cook things, grow things and to observe and just enjoy what was going on around me instead of just racing through life with blinders on.
Catherine is a gifted writer. She can paint word pictures that make you feel like you are looking at things through her eyes. And what you may not know is that she is a gifted poet as well. I hope someday she will share more of her poetry with the rest of us.
To say she’ll be missed is the understatement of the decade.
I have no doubt that the Tri-City Times will be in good hands under Randy Jorgensen and new editor-in-chief Maria Brown and the other extremely talented staff and contributors there. But nobody, in my opinion at least, can replace Catherine. Succeed yes, replace, no.
Newspapers are getting to be a lost art, including small community newspapers. It takes a unique person to understand that people in our rural areas have interesting and valuable stories to tell and experiences to share that would be overlooked and lost without the local newspaper.
Catherine understands that and made sure that the Tri-City Times performed its role very well. That’s why she, the paper and its staff won so many awards from the Michigan Press Association and others.
But now she will channel her considerable energy and talent in another direction. In the year that we commemorate the 50th anniversary of human’s first journey to the moon, where they left a plaque that read “We came in peace for all mankind,” she will lead people on a personally guided tour to physical fitness, stress-relief and relaxation as head of Peaceful Moon Yoga.
As her website www.peacefulmoonyoga.com states, “Cat believes in sharing the mind, body, spirit connection of yoga to facilitate peace of mind and happiness while improving strength, flexibility and balance.”
We will miss you, Catherine. A very big heartfelt thanks. Good luck and Godspeed, my friend.
Email Rick at rick.liblong@cox.net.