Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alisa Stingley

The funeral for our friend Alisa Stingley is going on in Shrevepot right now, and as it is, I'm trading notes with Don Walker, who works now at Florida Today and is one of Alisa's best friends. The picture on 7A of today's Times, the one of her and Don and David Westerfield, is priceless.

I have written about Alisa below, but first, this piece of a great note I got from Don. It sums up Alisa better than what I've written and much shorter than what I've written. I miss Alisa's waves from her truck and I cherish the couple of times -- and there were only two -- when me and her got slightly crossways at work, about work. And the honest truth is that once we determined that she was right and I was wrong, things were swell again! She didn't rub it in; she just stood her ground. ... I drove by her house yesterday and her "Happy Easter" flag was out and flowers were blooming ... her wind chimes were on her porch ... it made me want to re-write all I'd turned in to the paper the day before, the day she died. But truly, nothing would have been good enough. This note from Don is close tho...

FROM DON -- I heard you were writing a column about Alisa. I'll never forget Alisa writing a story about the death of sportswriter Robert Wallace (Wallace? I'm thinking I might be wrong on the last name) who drowned in Red River while trying to teach himself how to fish so he could be a true outdoors writer. She sat at her desk typing, crying over every word. She said it was the hardest thing she'd ever written.

I truly adored Alisa. She was such a great supportive, caring and steadfast friend. At a particular hump in my life, she showed up in The Times newsroom one day with a stray dog she had found wandering around in downtown. She insisted I take it home because it was the perfect dog for me and I needed a companion. I took the dog. And she was right. That crazy dog was a special friend to me, just like Alisa was.

She was my mentor through and through, and she was one awesome lunchmate. Each and every tear you shed over her Teddy is worth it.

Teddy column reprinted from The Times today...lots of wonderful vignettes from some of Alisa's friends, too...A FRIEND ALWAYS IN SEASON, ALWAYS IN BLOOM