Whatever happened to John Winn Miller?
It’s a question I’m asked frequently by residents who, along with me and many of my colleagues, were sad to see Miller resign as publisher of The Olympian in January 2009 after more than three years at the newspaper’s helm.
At the time, Miller said he wanted to take his considerable writing skills in a new direction after 31 years as an award-winning journalist and newspaper executive.
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First, he and his wife, Margo, and their two dogs drove 2,500 miles in six days to Lexington, Ky., and bought a home near where he was raised. Then Miller rolled up his sleeves in a room over the garage and started writing, cranking out two feature screenplays and a TV pilot he co-authored with a brother who’s a film editor in Los Angeles.
The TV pilot is called “Circumstantial Evidence” and features National Transportation Safety Board and FBI agents reluctantly teamed up to investigate horrific and potentially criminal accidents involving planes, trains and ships. In an e-mail Miller fired off to me last week, he said the television pilot is loosely based on the Bellingham pipeline explosion some 10 years ago.
One of the screenplays is called “Killing the Messenger,” about a reporter who’s about to lose her job at a struggling newspaper. She uncovers an assassination plot, but nobody believes her – even when she becomes a target.
Miller also served as associate producer for an independent feature film shot in Lexington called “Hitting the Cycle.” The story line goes like this: A failing professional baseball player returns home for the first time in 15 years to see his dying father he hates in the small town he thinks hates him. But nothing is as it seemed. Catch the trailer at www.htcmovie.com.
“And my Rotary buddies would be interested to know that I am still shamelessly bragging about my actress daughter, Allison,” he said. She was recently cast to co-star in Steven Spielberg’s new TV show for Fox titled “Terra Nova.”
Filmed in Australia, it’s about a group of post-apocalyptic pioneers who escape through a time warp to prehistoric times, then try to figure out a way to save mankind.
But here’s the real kicker: Miller has returned to newspapering.
Effective Sept. 13, Miller became publisher of the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire.
“It’s smaller than The Olympian with around 17,000 circulation,” Miller wrote. “But it is a state capital in a beautiful part of the country. The newsroom has a great reputation nationally, and the family that owns it wants to keep it that way.”
I’m sure Miller will be an energetic and inspirational hand at the helm. Now all he needs to do is find a monthly Wednesday night poker game like the one he left behind in Olympia.
A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
South Bay fourth-grader Elliot Kimsey turned 10 today. We’re calling it his 10-to-the-fourth birthday.
Kimsey would have to live to be 110 for the calender to line up like this again – 10/10/10. With the continued advances in health care and medical science, maybe that’s not as far-fetched as it sounds today.
Back to today. I’m fully aware that there are other kids in South Sound who celebrated their 10th birthday Sunday. But Elliot’s the only one I know about, so he gets all the fame.
Not that he sought out the attention. Blame it on his mother, Melanie Redding, who called The Olympian to let us know about her son’s quirky birthday coincidence.
“You might think I planned it, but that’s not the case,” Redding said.
Elliot’s grandmother was the one who brought it to her grandson’s attention two years ago. I can tell by Elliot’s serious demeanor that he hasn’t spent a lot of time thinking about it.
“I’m not sure what to think,” he said during a brief interview the other day.
Not too many of his classmates know about his birthday, so he hasn’t been getting much preteen teasing at school.
When I talked to him about it, he wasn’t aware of any special plans today to mark his 10/10/10/10 birthday. But I wouldn’t be surprised if his mother is up to something.
For the record, Elliot Kimsey was a boy of few words. I couldn’t even get him to crack a smile.
“This is my first time being interviewed,” Elliot explained.
Sometimes reporters forget what an awkward, nerve-wracking experience that can be.
John Dodge: 360-754-5444 firstname.lastname@example.org