Our longtime friend and colleague Peter Vieth is retiring with this issue. We wish him the absolute best. To celebrate him, we are resurrecting one of our favorite features from days gone by: The VLW Quick 10.
Here are 10 things we will miss about Peter:
His sharp sense of humor. When I polled the office for thoughts for this column, that was the recurring theme in each response. He’s a wacky punster, that one.
The good jokes, the bad jokes, the dad jokes. Each morning Peter circulates the proposed items for the Daily Alert (a/k/a “The Alert Dirt”) with a joke of the day. Some are good. Some not so much. Here’s an example, you decide: “I got a record of wasp sounds the other day. Played it, didn’t sound anything like wasps! Then I realized I was playing the bee side.”
His Mr. Radio Announcer voice and delivery. Our events have been the Peter, Paul and [Sherma, Maura, Jason … Maura was the closest we ever got to Mary] show for years. Makes sense he sounds like that: Peter worked at WRVA as a news reporter before going to law school.
An encyclopedia of totally useless knowledge about music. Might be a leftover radio thing, but Peter can cite chapter and verse of practically any old song from the 1960s on. Ask him about, say, Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band, and he’ll immediately break into a chorus of “Boogie Till You Puke.”
His news sense. Peter has followed and written about the General Assembly, the business of law, the development of case law, the courts, the Virginia State Bar, everything you want from this newspaper, with brio.
His turn of phrase. He is a skilled writer and a determined reporter. As one staffer observed, “He has a great ability to make bland topics exciting.” Pretty useful skill when you work at a legal newspaper.
Works well without supervision. Peter has been our Western Bureau chief for years, working from his house in Roanoke with monthly visits to Richmond. When the rest of us started working at home during the pandemic, he laughed devilishly, and said, “Now you know how I feel!”
Harvest time. Peter reviews the cases each week to determine which ones we want to digest and which ones we might write about. Call that time well-spent in the fields.
No friends like old friends. Peter actually has had two tours of duty at VLW. He worked us in the early 1990s when he was in law school, over the summers then part-time during the school year. In 2008 he called me and said he was considering a career change. Lucky for all of us, I actually had an opening.
His understanding of our mission. When they write the book explaining why Virginia Lawyers Weekly has been so successful, you’ll find Peter’s name front and center, and with good reason.
We expect you’ll see Peter in Richmond more often than before. He and his wife Gwen already are enjoying their first grandchild, a lad named Weston, born earlier this month.
Peter, in closing we say a hearty thank you, sir. So until the next time, it’s farewell and not goodbye.
– Paul Fletcher, with Renee Baldwin, Denise Woods and Jason Boleman.
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