Sounds as if folks in the newsroom at the Press-Telegram are in a bit of mourning this week. Tracy Manzer, whose career there went from clerk to award-winning police beat reporter, is leaving their midst on Friday after 18 years. It's voluntary — she's moving to Washington, D.C. with her husband, the press secretary for new congressman Alan Lowenthal — but that doesn't make it sting any less. In a small newsroom, the departure of a friend and colleague doesn't go unnoticed. Columnist and pod-mate Tim Grobaty does the honors in tomorrow's paper. A sample:
Friday is Tracy's last day at the Press-Telegram and we don't know if we can handle the silence....
Part of her legend is her language, which we enjoy immensely, but it's not to everyone's taste. People with a smattering of decency, for instance, will be taken aback by her conversational style, which is littered with more filth than a Skid Row creekbed. She uses terms regularly that make George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV" sound like the lyrics to a sweet, sweet lullaby.
Here's a sample of one of her rather long complaints about a certain person, with all the dirty, filthy language left out:
We did what we could to keep her here. We put up lawn signs for Gary DeLong, Lowenthal's competitor in the last election. We contributed vast sums of money to DeLong's super PAC. We threw enough money at the Press-Telegram's editorial board to have it change its endorsement from Lowenthal to DeLong. We asked Lowenthal to do the right thing and fire Keith, but he didn't have the decency to do it....
It's not that we'll just miss Tracy's horrible stories and sickening language. She has been, for a decade, what we in cubicleville call our work wife. She has tarted herself up every day for our amusement, wearing stunning spike heels and, on special occasions, her "implied consent dress," which is a smart little outfit that explodes off the body like an airbag when activated.
Oh, there's more.
Photo of Tracy Manzer: Long Beach Press-Telegram