Letter: Mack Reid's retirement signals end of an era

It’s hard to imagine The Ridgefield Press without the bylines of Mack Reid and Tim Murphy.

As Tom Nash noted in his recent letter, Mack’s retirement symbolizes the end of an era. The paper is losing more than 40 years of insight and historical knowledge; it’s losing a tremendously loyal and dedicated reporter who’s main objective was to write the best possible story for the residents of Ridgefield — and that’s something that can’t replaced overnight, if ever.

I first started working alongside Mack professionally as a general assignment (cub) reporter at The Press in March 2013. What stood about Mack immediately — other than is untidy desk — was how he fearlessly and naturally throw himself into every single story he was assigned, even when the subject wasn’t entirely accessible or familiar.

Mack continued to be a newsroom mentor and a prevailing force of wisdom when I rejoined The Press as managing editor in the summer of 2016. Together, we navigated through shootings, municipal elections, stolen cars, traffic woes, graffiti, and budget referendums. And I couldn’t have made it through any of it without his friendly ear and steady, calm demeanor.

And that’s what makes Mack so damn good at his job: He is an exceptional listener who’s compassion extends vastly beyond the walls of the newsroom. We could all use more people like him writing about the community we love.

I’ve known Tim even longer, and his presence at The Press will be equally missed. Under his tutelage, dozens of Ridgefield High School graduates have gotten to their first opportunities at sportswriting. He cares about Ridgefield deeply and wants the best for not only its young athletes but their parents, too.

Tim has been witness to every single professional and personal accomplishment I’ve achieved since the age of 15 (and seeing I’m turning 30 in two weeks, that’s about all of them!). He edited the first story I ever wrote (Ridgefield vs. Wilton’s girls basketball, January 2006), he stood alongside Mack and myself when The Press was recognized by The New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) in 2014, and he sat across from me at my goodbye lunch from The Press in January 2020.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the patience of Mack and Tim. They taught me how to be a better writer but, most importantly, they taught me how to be a better person. I’m eternally grateful.

Let’s hope future Ridgefield writers can be as fortunate to find two reporter mentors like Mack and Tim. They are resources that don’t come around often.

Steve Coulter

Ridgefield, Dec. 31