San Luis Obispo County can be tough on journalists.
One day, we’re chastised by Supervisor Adam Hill for being “schoolmarmish” (if we were men would we be “schoolmanish”?).
Another day, we’re called out for running an unflattering photo of (fill in the blank).
And three or four times an hour, we hear from haters who think we’re too liberal, too conservative or we don’t pay enough attention to (again, fill in the blank).
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But sometimes, it’s all worth it. Take the day we learned that GARTH BROOKS READ A TRIBUNE LETTER TO THE EDITOR. (Yes, we are gushing. Go ahead and hate on us. We don’t care.)
The letter was from Brooks’ fan Denise Stewart of Arroyo Grande, who wrote about how disgusted she was that scalpers had snapped up tickets to Garth’s two shows at the Mid-State Fair. Rather than “line the scalper’s pockets,” Stewart told readers that she would be traveling to Southern California to catch Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood at The Forum in Inglewood.
When Stewart and her husband arrived at The Forum, they were in for a huge surprise: They were ushered to far better seats; whisked backstage to meet with Garth; and reimbursed $400 for the cost of their trip and hotel stay. All because GARTH BROOKS READ A TRIBUNE LETTER TO THE EDITOR. (OK, Stewart deserves credit for having the gumption to write a letter to the editor.)
Garth earns a bouquet of guitar picks for graciousness. Stewart, a bouquet of pens and pencils.
As for ticket scalpers, they get their comeuppance—not only did Stewart not line their pockets, she wound up showing us all what can happen when you stick to your principles.
Bouquets and brickbats appear periodically in The Tribune. If there’s something (or someone) you would like to honor with a bouquet or chastise with a brickbat, email your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.