Twenty years of Miles D. Moore covering the rubber industry. Who would have thought it possible when that cherubic, nervous reporter, fresh out of college, joined Rubber & Plastics News two decades ago? Not Miles, I imagine.
Miles began his career in Akron and has spent the past 17 years covering the nation's capital. Washington is perfect for Miles with its culture, politics, international flare and, of course, food possibilities. If you ever want to eat your way through Washington, consult Miles. He knows all the best restaurants.
Miles came to our publication about 11/2 years before I did. He's from a small rural Ohio city, Lancaster, where most people ended up as farmers or glass packers at the local Anchor Hocking plant. Fortunately for RPN and our readers, Miles had more lofty ambitions.
Over the years Miles has given us a wealth of stories.
He's produced copy with impact, particularly because things that happen in Washington echo throughout the country. And because he's a good journalist.
Miles is a nice guy, a gentle soul who would rather not offend someone if he can help it.
But Miles won't hesitate to ask the tough questions and write the difficult story if needed.
One that comes to mind is an article he wrote during the Gulf War. Using impeccable sources, Miles learned that retreads on military vehicles operating in the difficult desert terrain of the conflict area had been failing.
Not the kind of story the retreading industry wanted to read. Even if it was true.
Miles caught a lot of heat from retreading advocates, and other publications were afraid to touch the subject because of the pressure. Miles never backed off from what he'd written, and the story later won a company ``scoop'' award.
That's when I learned why one Washington insider called Miles a bulldog. I had found it amusing: Bulldog? We're talking about a sensitive person, a poetic soul.
But Miles is a bulldog. He doesn't bite, but if he grabs hold he won't let go. His success in poetry is an example of that doggedness.
It's incredibly difficult to become a published poet, a dream Miles always had. He faced a lot of rejection but never gave up, and his poems increasingly appeared in magazines.
His first book, ``The Bears of Paris,'' was published in 1995. He even represented Washington in the national ``Poetry Slam'' a few years ago, a cross between a poetry recital and feeding Christians to the lions.
I imagine Miles believes poetry is his real calling. Covering the rubber industry out of Washington is his day job.
I have news for Miles. He does a damn good job with his day job, too.
Noga is editor of Rubber & Plastics News.