When I came to The Flume a year ago, I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect with this new job, a new town and new people in my life. I showed up and was given an office, a key and the title of editor. My family and friends were like, that’s so awesome, Congratulations!

I, on the other hand, was lost—until Lori showed me the ropes and settled me in.

Lori Wright, general manager of The Flume for nearly 16 years, is leaving the newspaper this week. She is retiring.

I feel lost again.

Who will I go to when I have questions about newspaper layout? Who will remind me to turn in the page count order to the press each week? Who will show me how to keep track of the special publications deadlines? Who will explain who’s who in this county—well, John Rankin can do that. He knows everyone.

My point is that Lori has been the solid rock of this organization for many years. I often say The Flume is a well-oiled machine with Lori at the helm. She’s quick, intelligent, intuitive and focused. While other people are talking about getting something done, Lori’s already done it. She has come up with a system for everything in this office, and it works. She’s a shoot now, ask questions later kind of gal.

But, I’m not writing a letter of reference for Lori. I’m trying to put into words how she has supported me, showed me the way and tough-loved me through hard times this past year. My job is not easy. It’s a hodgepodge of tasks each week that are often too much for one person to do. Some don’t like how I do things, and they tell me that in not-so-nice ways regularly. Lori has guided me through it all. From something as simple as setting up my voice mail to looking me straight in the face and telling me to shake it off, buck up and get it done, she has morphed me from a deer in the headlights, to a confident leader of this newspaper and in the community.

I have also gained a special friend. We’ve joked and laughed. We’ve chatted about life. We’ve brainstormed about things. We’ve given each other gifts on special occasions. We’ve even shared a few tears together. When I think about daily life in the office without Lori, my heart sinks. It’s hard to say goodbye.

Lori set the bar high at The Flume and we who remain have some big shoes to fill. So, to those who are reading, bear with us through this transition as we take on Lori’s duties. It will be bumpy. After all, we can’t replace perfection.

Thank you Lori, for all of your years dedicated to The Flume, this past year especially. It’s the end of an era as we sadly usher you out the door, but your legacy at The Flume will be known always.

Now go! Enjoy retirement. I will miss you dearly and wish you the best.

Emily Clingman


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