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A heartfelt goodbye from Outposts

Kelly Burgess at one of her favorite Napa Valley wineries.This is the second-most difficult post I have written, and comes a little more than a year after I wrote the most painful one, on the death of my father.

Outposts is a goner. A committee has decided to eliminate this column.

I'll likely transition to the Fabulous Forum, but want to be honest -- while some of the topics I write about will fit well (pro surfing and the Iditarod come to mind), sadly, many don't seem as if they would be at home there.

While Fab Forum is a great blog, it's mostly about pro and college sports and athletes, where my focus here is on the everyday man and woman and their doings in the outdoor recreation and lifestyle sports world -- hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, etc. I enjoyed writing about their achievements and records and about the things that might be of interest to outdoor recreationists not only in Southern California but nationally and globally.

Before I sign off here I have a few folks I'd like to thank:

The Times copy editors, for making certain my syntax and punctuation were correct and for masterfully tightening headlines;

Steve Carson, who would send me his weekly Irvine Lake fishing report, and Carrie Wilson, of the California Department of Fish and Game, whose Q&A column was one of my weekly favorites to post;

Fish and Game department staffers nationwide, for taking the time to speak with me, send me images and otherwise assist in outdoor-related news to populate Outposts;

J.R. Absher from the Outdoor Pressroom and Jeff Dudas' UnderwaterTimes -- two excellent go-to sources for outdoor and marine-related news;

Pete Thomas, my friend and ex-colleague, to whom I am extremely grateful for encouraging me to start working on Outposts with him;

and Scott Bassin, my husband, who embraced my commitment to this column and, rather than just tolerating it, takes pride in the work I've done and the effort I've put into it.

Thank you for reading, and hopefully we'll meet again somewhere down the road. Until then, happy trails to you.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Kelly Burgess at one of her favorite Napa Valley wineries. Credit: Scott Bassin


 
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Comments (16)

I'm with Niki and the other John, how lame! I'll miss Outposts! Boo to you LATimes!

NO MORE OUTDOORS THEN THERE WILL BE NO MORE LA TIMES FOR ME.

I love Outposts! Where's a person to go for out of the mainstream sports? Your work is appreciated and will be missed.

KELLY YOUR OUTPOSTS COLUMN IS THE BEST. I'M NOT GOING TO CALL IT WAS THE BEST, BECAUSE, SOMETIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE IT WILL COME BACK. YOU COLUMN WAS ALWAYS THE FIRST THING TO LOOK FOR. BEST INFO FOR OUTDOORS IN CALIFORNIA. I'M REALLY GOING TO MISS IT. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK. AND GOOD LUCK WHERE EVER THEY ASSIGN YOU. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT A FULL GLOWING LIGHT BULB.

This is an unfortunate decision. This column went a long way to filling out and expanding the band-width of this section of the newspaper as it covered topics and stories of sports and interests beyond the 'big money' one's only. Thank you for your excellent handling of this column. It will be missed.

Sorry to see you go! I work for a national outdoor cable network and read the column daily. Thanks for the great stories not found elsewhere. Too bad. No more LA Times for me, for now.

Thank you L.A. Times for eliminating the one place I can go to without racist, political & just plain idiotic comments on your whole website. Thanks & good luck Kelly.

This is a terrible mistake by the LAT. Outposts was one of the selling points for readers not living in LA to check out the Times online. Outposts was really one of the best newspaper columns committed to outdoor life and recreation. The regular Q&A with Fish and Wildlife will really be missed - who else is putting that information out right now? How about trimming some of that ridiculous coverage of mainstream sports - how insghtful that ballplayers are attached to their gloves. Whoa. Call the Pulitzer committee...

Outposts will be missed.

What are they thinking? This doesn't take up any column space in the newspaper. Is it just a reflection of the management that this type of reporting should be abandoned? "Must not report on hunting and fishing! Bad!"

Lame! Why so we can read more about the Lakers? So we can read about the corrupt Dodgers and fan beatings? Is USC guilty?, why LA doesn't have a football team?

Outposts was a nice change of pace. It's too bad people so out of touch have so much censorship and control of what we read.

*Marvelous* strategy behind the decision, I trust. This is a "Fonzie jumps the shark" moment for the Times.

I just wanted to say thank you for your articles each and every day! It was the highlight of my day to read what was going on in the world of fishing (who would of believed the size of that goldfish if we hadn't seen it here 1st?), hunting, Iditarod, surfing, etc and it was the 1st thing I read when I came to the site each day at lunch. I'm sorry that the morons, oops I mean editors, over at LAT cannot see the importance and value your articles have with us readers. I, for one, will be canceling my subscription (I know, I am a caveman when it comes to this) immediately because of this and the incompetence of the staff with the LAT. I'm sure the editors could have found a way to keep you...but instead, decided that the regular guy isn't important, i.e. rich, enough to keep happy. So I say screw them! They will rue the day when they keep kicking the regular guy to the curb because it is us who read your paper and keep you in business. Enjoy your fancy offices and business trips on the golf course because it isn't going to last long. I can't wait til that day and the day I see you all in the unemployment line. I will be the one with the John Deere cap talking about the fishing over at Irvine Lake or at Santa Ana River Lakes!!!!
Kelly I wish you all the happiness in the world and I am sure you will be back again thrilling us with your words. Don't get discouraged because we all know what really happened here. God Bless and 'til we meet again...

A great tribute to one'e wife and her writing talent. Who's going to write the tribute to the 13- year old who lands a world record yellow fin tuna, or the 85 year old grandmother who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail?

Kelly, I'm really sorry about the end of Outposts. That's not very cool. Another brilliant decision by "those people." Although I didn't read it every day, whenever I did check it out there were some good and well-written items...I even left comments on a few. I know you worked very hard on it. Well, I always go to Fabulous Forum, so I'll be seeing your posts there. As you said, you'll probably have to be more selective as to topics, but at least you'll still be posting.

A sad, sad day indeed.
Thanks for the "shout out" Kelly, I enjoyed contributing.
I became an "outdoor writer" mostly because of longtime LA Times outdoor writer Lupi Saldana [definitely showing my age!].
About twice a week, or sometimes more in the 1960's and 70's, Saldana would write about the outdoors so beautifully, he at times even outshone his page-mate, who was possibly the greatest sportswriter of all time [Murray].
Heck, I loved fishing so much when I was a kid growing up in Culver City in the 1960's, I trespassed on MGM Studios Lot #3, and fished in the famous lake where Gone With the Wind and all the great MGM movies were filmed.
Also ironic that at the Bass Pro Shop store out in Rancho Cucamonga, there are several larger than life-size photos of LA Times publishing icon Otis Chandler, happily showing off the results of successful hunting and fishing expeditions.
Best of luck in all you do, Kelly.

It is a very sad day here at the Bassin-Burgess household. My wife has dedicated 20 plus years to the service of the Los Angeles Times Sports Department. She has picked up this e-column from her friend and co-writer Pete Thomas, and has shined through it all like the torch of Lady Liberty in the adverse conditions of a job & position that is slowly dying because of the editors political leanings, poor management and disdain for its readers.

She learned to write well by being a voracious reader. Plus she had some good mentors like Jim Murray, Shav Glick and Bill Dwyre...only to be sidelined today for covering the "everyman" by a group of "insiders" who care less and less about its readers but instead fawn and drool over the ephemera that has become our over-paid, coddled professional athletes.

I think it was Mark Twain who said the Sports Page tells of Man's Achievements and it is the Front Page that tells of Man's Failures.

It is my opinion that the failure of this column lies at the feet of the Editors of the L.A.Times for not promoting its relevance. Pity that us OUTDOORS sportsmen & women will no longer have a global scaled venue to hail our accomplishments.

Kelly, you are my inspiration, my wife, and best friend...I Love You.



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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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