David Hawpe is one of my favorite writers. Yesterday the Courier-Journal published one last piece of wisdom from one of the last pieces of wisdomhood the place yet holds. In it he writes of coming to the C-J building as a kid to be on the old Hayloft Hoedown, a locally produced show from a bygone era of local television. I can relate. I went to the same building (or maybe to the new WHAS building on Chestnut Street) as a kid celebrating my birthday with Randy and Cactus on T-Bar-V Ranchtime nearly a generation later in the waning days of the related program.
David is an unabashed liberal with enough true grit from places like Powell Avenue in Louisville to working the old Hazard bureau of the Courier-Journal, back in the "Once Great" days of a paper that is no more. Hawpe's charges and challenges have been insightful, engaging, and last but certainly not least, entertaining. He is one of the last vestiges of the heralded paper formerly owned by three different generations of the Bingham family, Louisville's closest candidate as a royal family.
I do not personally know Mr. Hawpe, although we have met on several occasions. We've also exchanged emails from time-to-time, as I know he has done with my father more than once. My emails were generally supportive; those of my father's certainly were not. In 2002 Hawpe sat across the large interview table from me, along with three others in the editorial department and four other candidates, when I ran for Metro Council. When the discussion came to how each of us felt about Merger, Mr. Hawpe allowed that they already knew where I stood and had copies of my several letters in opposition to that move, including one called "Assimilation, Not Merger." Someday I will reprint it here; it had a certain prescience which can be appreciated now these seven years later. But, I digress.
A few weeks ago when his retirement was leaked out, I sent him a congratulatory note. I wish him well. Our city, state, and region has been well served by him as it once was well served by his former employer.
Thanks, Mr. Hawpe. Happy Trails, my friend.
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