Our colleague and friend Alan Cooper retired on Sept. 2. After 30-some years as a reporter for the Richmond News-Leader, then the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he joined us as our News Editor in 2005. Here are the top 10 things we will miss:
1. Great depth of knowledge about Virginia law & procedure. He can cite chapter, verse and case names. He knows where some bodies are buried.
2. Wide contacts. Everyone knows Alan. Doug Rucker refers to him as his “favorite cub reporter.”
3. Tireless work ethic. If you need someone to get it done, call Alan.
4. Keen sense of discretion. Often the better part of valor.
5. Never-failing sense of humor. Just get him started on a story, and ask for the parts that didn’t make it into print.
6. His love for cycling. Who else can talk knowledgably about whether Lance is doping?
7. His Smyth County country-boy heritage. Is his hometown pronounced “Broad_Ford” or “Brawdfurd”? His answer: “Brawd_Ford.”
8. Photographic talents. He is known as “Snaps” Cooper for a reason.
9. His good taste in music. Yes, he did travel to Charlottesville a few years ago to see the Rolling Stones.
10. His hearty laugh. A daily fixture in the office.
Thank you and good luck, Mr. Cooper!
— Paul Fletcher, Deborah Elkins, Peter Vieth, Sarah Rodriguezn