We mourn the loss of Vicki Bolton, Phil’s wife of 43 years and tireless companion, the news of whose passing we learned Sunday morning with some surprise and a heavy dose of grief.
It would be easy for us to craft the story of Global Atlanta as one man’s vision for connecting a city with the world through the news. But as I think about how we can continue Phil’s spirit of innovation, I’m chastened by the fact that we have not spent enough time celebrating Vicki’s unsung contributions.
Like most startups, Global Atlanta (or Agio Press Inc. and GlobalFax in the early days, as many will remember) was a family endeavor. Vicki was the clerical side of the publication and much more as it got off the ground in the early 1990s and indeed carried much of the weight still when I joined in 2007.
But more than that, she was a constant support for Phil during his days of local journalism in Macon and Milledgeville (where they met) as well as after their move to Avondale Estates and the subsequent international reporting stint in Paris that immediately preceded his decision to create a new kind of news source bridging the local and global. As Phil acknowledged to me just recently, Global Atlanta would not have happened without her.
More than that, those outside the publication should know that Vicki always made every member of the Global Atlanta family feel like part of the Bolton family. I recall fondly Christmas parties, jazz concerts, Braves games and dinners where she worked behind the scenes to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all.
Anyone who knows the Boltons knows that interactions with this family are never transactional: Whatever they do, they do with gusto, usually for others’ benefit, finding their joy in the nexus between their interests and the world’s good. That is what I hope to continue to bring to Global Atlanta.
While we mourn, we also find our sadness tempered by a sliver of light today. Nov. 5 is not only the day that the beloved Braves are being lauded for bringing home a World Championship for their devoted fan, Vicki, but also because we can celebrate the day of Phil’s birth.
I have been lucky enough to call Phil a boss, a colleague, a friend and an international travel companion (probably more often than he would have liked). I always like to say that I’m riding his coattails in everything I do. From now on, I will be sure to acknowledge that I’m hitched to Vicki’s too.
Managing Editor, Global Atlanta
Messages to pass along to the family? Email Trevor