Elizabeth Van Hooser, former food writer for The Florida Times Union, resigned on Nov. 13, 2009, Friday. Call it a bogus myth, or just coincidence, but this Friday the thirteenth was most certainly an un-fortunate day for me.
Elizabeth, or "Liz" as she liked to be called, was the closest person I met to work a job I wish to own someday. I met her through Denise Dvorak, my jounalism teacher. Liz was most inviting when I first contacted her by email. We scheduled an appointment for meeting at The Times Union office, and there I was, dressed as what-a-visitor-should-dress-like-entering-the-Times-building, in black high heels and a dress.
Upon reaching, Liz had me tour the building. From the photography hall, ancient records library, meeting Ross Well, to dun-dun-dun... the buturing editing table. Their massive printing mashine was said to shake the building when it vomited many (I forgot the exact statistic) per minute.
I could totally imagine myself working there. The rush of writing was crawling over every carpet thread that covered the place. After the tour, Liz and I lunched at the office cafeteria and talked about... well food. Laughs, stories, advice, and encouragement filled our conversation. A week or so later, I modelled for one of Liz' articles for a picture. She also sent me cookbook review project, which was published by Bal Arneson, the cookbook author. The Skillet as a column followed, and now I took her advice to start a blog too.
Liz has a year old daughter, Amelia, and she is her currant everything. Liz wants her daughter experiencing her growing up, her Christmas', Thanksgiving, Birthdays, with her family. Amelia's grandparents live in Columbia, and that is where Liz is moving to. As much as I am happy for Liz and her daighter, I will miss her dearly.
Liz moving away is not budging my ambition to become a food writer. I will always remember her as one of my guides and inspirations.
Thanks Liz, and good luck.