Taking my leave, with gratitude for a great run | TheUnion.com

Taking my leave, with gratitude for a great run

Ok, so the photo is terrible. Sorry for that John Taber! It was nice to be hours away from home and see that a favorite hometown band's upcoming performance was being promoted. Achilles Wheel will play at the River Theater in Guerneville, Calif. Aug. 8. with Shana Morrison.
Brett Bentley/bbentley@theunion.com |

My desk turned in to an excavation site this week. As I clean out piles and piles of paper, folders, photos, CDs and more in preparation of my final day here, I uncovered a paper trail of the last four years.

Long buried press passes for festivals, CDs and thank you notes reminded me what a long strange trip this has been. When I started this job and began writing my weekly column, I said that I had the best job at The Union because I got to promote all that was great about our community. I maintain that assertion to this day.

Through roughly 200 editions of Prospector I have interviewed international artists and musicians, coordinated coverage of thousands of musical acts, art receptions, theatrical and dance productions and book signings and edited far too many calendar listings to count (I don’t honestly want to know the actual number, in preservation of my sanity). Interviewing actor/comedian Paul Reiser during a power outage at The Union was definitely memorable. So was my call with Graham Nash, which felt more like a conversation than an interview — he really is that nice.

But what stands out the most to me in my time here is the incredible talent we have locally. The arts, theater and music scene here is second to none. While on vacation recently, I made my husband pull over in the middle of Guerneville, Calif. in Sonoma County because there, on the little river town’s theater marquee was a notice that Achilles Wheel would be coming soon. It’s no surprise they are playing across the state — they’ve had gigs at the famed Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley and performed at top music festivals. But it never gets old to see that my hometown band is in fact a Northern California group of note in the musical scene.

My only regret is not getting to all the great local stories that still need to be told. Thankfully, I’m handing Prospector over to good hands. Keri Brenner will be stepping in as the new features editor.

When I took this job, my goal was to balance out coverage of all the arts in our community such that Prospector was a strong representation of what was happening each week. It was a honor to pull this publication together week after week. Thank you for the great run!

To contact Keri, email kbrenner@theunion.com or continue to use the entertainment@theunion.com email.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at bbentley@theunion.com through Thursday.

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