BEST GRIM JOURNALISTIC REAPER 2006 | Rocky Mountain News | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
For a relatively young man, Jim Sheeler certainly has a thing for death. As a freelancer, he wrote vivid, long-form obituaries for the Denver Post, the best of which will appear in a book, tentatively titled The Woman Who Outlived Her Tombstone, that's slated for publication later this year. After the Post foolishly cut him loose, Sheeler landed as a staffer at the Rocky Mountain News, where he's continued to explore the emotional territory on the far side of the river Styx. Last year's "Final Salute," detailing how the Marine Corps honors fallen soldiers, is his most epic, enlightening variation on the theme to date, and rumored to be a finalist in several contests. Many of Sheeler's subjects are lifeless, but his prose certainly isn't.
After most workers are let go, they're upset, not magnanimous -- which only makes the final farewell of former 9News anchor/ reporter Adam Resnik seem all the more remarkable. When his contract wasn't renewed, Resnik sent a 2,400-word e-mail to colleagues -- but instead of ripping into station execs for their shortsightedness, he offered complimentary remarks for more than 175 alphabetically listed co-workers ranging from the prominent ("Adele Arakawa, for your class and professionalism, and for always bringing tasty snacks into the meeting") to the obscure ("Johnny Wells, for making me smile widely every time the live truck rolls up with you behind the wheel"). Resnik's reportedly working in the financial-services field these days. If that doesn't take, he should consider politics.

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