I haven’t felt much like blogging these past few days.
My former boss, Mountaineer editor Brian Mazza, was found dead in his home the other day.
It’s hard to believe. Yes, we’re mortal; we die. That’s part of the deal we sign up for when we incarnate. But it’s still a shock when someone dies unexpectedly.
Brian was 45 and died due to a triple arterial blockage.
His sister Gail found him in his home on Sunday after the family became concerned when he didn’t show for Sunday dinner at his mom’s.
I was the senior reporter at the Mountaineer for 13 years. Brian had just taken over as editor in the fall of 1988 and I was his first hire.
We got along well enough although it took me nearly seven years to convince him Provincial Court ought to be covered.
He served the community and when he took on a project he got it done. He did it in his own time, which I often found frustrating, but it got done and that was what mattered.
His death’s an awful blow to his family. His dad, Lawrence, died just a few months ago. They must be reeling now.
His death stunned me, too.
I have a good life here in Rocky and I have it because Brian hired me 19 years ago. I’m grateful for that.
It was common when someone left the Mountaineer that we’d take a few minutes to say good-bye. We’d have cake, and then Brian would present the former staffer with a small parting gift and invite him or her to say a few words.
It was different with me. We had a huge chocolate cake and I got a gold watch, but when it came time for Brian to ask me to say something there was an awkward silence.
Maybe it was difficult for him. I don’t know. Maybe he was scared of what I might say as I’m usually blunt.
I’ll say now what I didn’t take the opportunity to say then, “Thank you.”