He's hiked with llamas. He's tracked down armillary spheres. He's traded insights with an irish one-man ‘Moby-Dick' and a Puerto-Rican-born painter of sisterhood.

He's also taught me most of what I know about Facebook.

In fact, there's very little in the Eagle newsroom -- and around it -- that Brian Mastroianni hasn't tried. He came to the Eagle in August as an intern to help Berkshires Week through the summer and fall. And he has stayed with us to design pages, amp up our website and quietly, deftly, put ut a hand where it was needed to keep the wheels turning.

After this week, he will head off to new adventures, and we're going to miss him here.

I owe him a lot. Coming into an internship at an unusual time, with the magazine in high gear and the schedule rattlng off the rails, he has taken everything we asked of him in stride. He has tackled the oddest assignments with humor. He works independently with confidence, and he is developing one of the most valuable of journalistic skills: the patience to get real, human sense out of an interview.

Red Auerbach, the man who re-invented baskebtall, is supposed to have said that you can't teach height. Journalism has instincts as unteachable, and I think Brian has the instinct for finding the root of a story and the determination to keep on going until he gets there.

I hope we'll see his name in these pages in the future, because I value his writing. But I hope too that he will find new places to explore, new pages and colleagues and expeditions. The Berkshires have rich ground, but there's a lot of world beyond them.

Brian, I hope you'll enjoy the trip, with or without llamas, and send us dispatches once in a while to tell us where you've come, and what you see when you get there, and who you've met and talked with along the way.