Often when these posts have a name at the top, it means they've died. Tim Woodwood, a writer for 40 years at the Idaho Statesman, has - happily - not died. But with today's final set of columns in the Statesman, he has retired, taking from the paper its leading writing icon. His columns have been regular reading from here for, oh, well over 30 of those 40 years. They have been a tonic: After absorbing the regular bulk of ugliness and strangeness in Idaho public affairs, Woodward's columns were a corrective, a reminder of older Idaho, of human Idaho, of the good things so often otherwise untold.
Not often told is Woodward's help in launching the sequence of activities that led to, among other things, Ridenbaugh Press and this blog.
In 1987, I was at the Idaho Statesman covering politics, and was weighing the idea of writing and publishing a book on that subject. The politics I knew something about; about writing and publishing a book, virtually nothing. Fortunately, my office desk was only a few feet away from someone who had done just that, with some success: Woodward, who had published several collections of his columns (and was at work on the Vardis Fisher biography Tiger on the Road for Caxton Printers, 1989). Woodward was one of the first people (there would be others, too) to offer both encouragement and highly practical information and advice. He was one of the people without whom that book, Paradox Politics, might not have seen light. And after it came Ridenbaugh Press and a string of other publications, one of which you're reading now.
So from Ridenbaugh Press: Have a happy retirement, but keep those words of enjoyment, advice and tonic coming.