First Peter Day leaves, and now Beau Yarbrough. I won't have anybody to pick on me anymore, so I wish for Beau to find someone just like me to work with. All Beau did was frown at me and I will not repeat what he said. We're going to miss him!


Beau worked for the Hesperia Star for eight years and four months.


He told me his most memorable story was "The Brotherhood of the Bomb" in 2008, about Hesperia Sgt. James K. Healy, who died in Afghanistan. He went out to a training center at Fort Irwin and interviewed Army bomb disarming experts. He wrote the story with the son of the soldier (he was preschool age) in mind to understand what his father did. The story would be a good source for the son to understand what his father did when he got older.


Beau received his four-year degree from Virginia Tech. He met his future wife, Jennifer, on the Internet and she happened to be from Hesperia. They corresponded for a couple of years before he moved to California. He worked for the Los Angeles Times building websites and did public relations for a video games company called Blizzard Entertainment before he returned to his first love, journalism.


I asked Beau why he decided to become a reporter.


"I don't know, that's a good question," he said with a laugh. "I guess I'm just nosey."


For our last meal with Beau we went to Mary Ann's Restaurant in Hesperia. Richard Doornbos, Beau, Sharon and I all went. We had a wonderful time.


Beau and Jenn have a little boy, James, who is 5 years old. He'll start kindergarten in August.


Beau loves to participate in chili cookoffs. Believe me, he makes the best chili! On July 14, the Hesperia Star participated in the Joshua Palms V.F.W. Post 2924 fourth-annual Chili Cookoff. Beau cooked up his favorite chili recipe one last time for the Hesperia Star. Also there to lend a hand was Sharon (who decorated the booth and won 1st place), Sheila (who helped serve) and me (who visited). Beau even had me thrown in jail for the V.F.W. fundraiser! Ha ha! Sharon bailed me out — thank you, Sharon. We had a great time!


Last year, the Hesperia Star, with Beau's chili recipe, took third place for People's Choice, two weekends in a row — one at Boulder Creek Ranch and the other at Happy Trails Chili Cook-Off in Apple Valley.


He wouldn't give me the recipe for his Hot Off the Presses Chili, but he did give me the recipe it was originally based on, before being changed over the past four years (featured at right).


Beau, the office isn't the same without you, but I wish you the best of luck in your new venture. And again, I hope you find another Charlene; after all, you put up with me for almost six years!


Love, Charlene