Many years ago, let's say 30 or so, I was a regular reader of "The Boston Phoenix" in part because of the writing of Clif Garboden: it was eloquent, witty, informed, impassioned and ferocious in its commitment and ideals. And, more often than not, it was also very funny (his "Hot Dots" column, a preview of the week's TV programming, was a comic mini-masterpiece). So I thought to myself, "The Phoenix" was a cool place to be and maybe one day if I got good enough I, too, could work there.
And so it came to pass, and for many years Clif has been my colleague here and in many ways, visible and invisible, has made sure that "The Phoenix" was a cool place to be and a bastion of journalistic excellence and integrity.
Today, however, is his last day. After four decades as writer, editor and benevolent, protective spirit, he'll say goodbye this evening at An Tua Nua, a casualty of the economic turmoil that is today's journalism. I'm not alone in thinking that with him goes an element of cool that will be hard to replace.