A newspaperman calls it a career

We may be in the final days of seeing anyone spend 40 years in the newspaper business at one paper, or any paper at all.

Sam Cook, of the Duluth News Tribune, is retiring at the end of this week. He’s been covering the outdoors and writing a weekly column for 38 years.

He had help — consider this a hint — he wrote on Sunday in saying his goodbyes.

• Thanks to everyone who picked up the phone or dropped me a note to say something like, “I know someone you should do a story about.” They were nearly always right. It’s a daunting job feeding a weekly outdoors section with fresh faces, and those story tips were a valuable part of the process.

• Thanks to all those who let me roll out my sleeping bag in their deer shacks, cabins, tents and spare rooms. I tried to tell them about the snoring, but by then they were committed.

• Thanks to you, my reader, for coming along with me on Sundays when my stories appeared. I had you in mind all time I was out there in the field, scribbling in my notebook and taking photos. A newspaper’s readership crosses many demographics — young people just getting started in the outdoors, accomplished experts at the peak of their game, and those who will likely never climb into a duck blind or slip a kayak into Lake Superior. I tried to write for all of you.

Cook says he had a chance to leave Duluth “a time or two” but he and his wife decided they wanted to stay in the North country.

A farewell for Cook will be held at the Duluth Convention Center next month.