When I first came to work for the Arizona Daily Star as a library assistant in 1991, I already knew quite a few people here. My husband was a sports copy editor, so I had met a few of his coworkers.
But the first reporter I met after beginning work was Walt Nett. He wrote for the business section, then called "Money." We immediately declared ourselves to be distant cousins because my grandmother was a Nett, though it's really unlikely Walt and I are related.
Walt passed away Wednesday at his home in Lubbock, Texas. He'd been working for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and clearly left a big impression there. Read Adam Young's memories of Walt in his blog at lubbockonline.com.
Walt left an impression on me as well. A kinder man could not be found, except for my husband. He was soft spoken, but he knew his stuff. He made it easy to ask for advice whether it was for the proper use of a hyphen or where to get the best tacos in town.
Walt became the online editor at StarNet for a time before he left Tucson for other opportunities. He returned later to Tucson for a while, not as a reporter or editor but to open a restaurant. Later he left again to return to journalism.
I never saw him again after that, except on Facebook. We communicated on birthdays; ours were a day — and a few years — apart.
I was greatly saddened to hear late yesterday of his death. Of course, now I wish I had communicated more often, but I've lost my chance.
I'll never forget you, Walt. Since I have no editor for blog posts, if you see a mistake here, just send me a little nudge in a dream. I'll hear you.