Glen Warchol had been my friend for many years before he asked if I was interested in writing about music for Salt Lake magazine. I had never written anything for anyone before and I was intimidated by the idea but agreed, hesitantly… and I worried I would fail and let him down.
“I won’t let you turn in bad copy,” Glen told me.
And that’s what friendship was like with Glen. He’d push you in exactly the right ways. He saw things in people that they didn’t see in themselves and when we turned in bad copy, whether in written form or in a more metaphorical sense, Glen was there to “clean it up” as we say in the journalism business.
Glen loved big. And he left us last night, way too soon.
Professionally, Glen was the consummate newspaperman, working at wire services and alt weeklies and daily papers all over the country, including The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, before his time here at Salt Lake magazine. He held politicians, the DABC, real estate developers, etc. accountable—and when Glen got a whiff of a story, he was dogged in chasing it. He was my editor, and the editor of many before me. And he was a great one, mentoring cub reporters throughout his career. Working with Glen Warchol was an invaluable crash course in journalism. Pity those who were in his way.
And like every reporter, Glen would have called his work his defining characteristic. But he was wrong.
Glen was the life of the party, a storyteller in every sense of the word. Foul-mouthed and wildly waving arms and, no one—politicians, friends, people across the room—ever wondered where they stood with Glen. Glen was a keen observer of the human condition, and I trusted his judgement of people more than I trusted anyone else’s. He saw through the bullshit.
He would talk about their children, Kit, Sam, Britt and Anna, with a sparkle in his eye. And his love for Mary, well, it was something the rest of us have aspired to find. And now, just like that, he’s gone. And in a terrible twist of irony, it was that big heart of his that ultimately did him in.
It was his capacity for love that truly made Glen Warchol amazing. He and his wife, Mary Malouf, often said that they built a civilization together, and it was true. They surrounded themselves with a ragtag bunch of friends who had one thing in common—their love and loyalty to Glen and Mary. They offered all of us a safe haven, unconditional love and support and a cocktail at the ready whenever we walked in the door.
So, here at Salt Lake magazine, we ask that the next time you find yourself with a cocktail in your hand, tip it back and spin a yarn for Glen Warchol, who mixed cocktails, told stories and loved better than anyone else we’ve ever known.