Then he put on a dress

It didn't hit me until Rick Loomis donned a purple wig. The renowned Los Angeles Times photographer and other photo, multimedia and writing coaches marched into the 2009 Mountain Workshops in Murray, Ky., wearing vintage hats and stuffed dresses.

I had the honor of serving on the faculty as the world's top photographers and multimedia producers invaded western Kentucky for a week of intense journalism.

The pictures inspired, the video stories moved (figuratively) and laughter was contagious. If the creative energy in that workshop can't preserve first-class journalism, nothing will.

(Photo: Rick Loomis waits for the last compact flash card drop - Derek Poore)