Old Reporters Never Die…

True. Old reporters never die. We just fade off into our dotage and find something ELSE to do connected with the news business… Really!

In my wasted youth I wanted to get into radio. Yes. Gonna be a big star disc jockey, don’tcha know, one of those faceless voices that seem like the best friend you ever had — and when you finally get to SEE that person in the flesh, boy are you in for a disappointment! Yow! Hey, you sounded drop-dead BEAUTIFUL on the damn radio… What happened to ya, anyhow?? So. Where was I? Yes, radio. Sure.

So I took a class in Cincinnati and got my FCC License and went out searching for my first big break into broadcasting. Right! This was very early 1970s and I was a year out of the US Army and VERY interested in having long hair — which caused me to remain unemployed. Ah well. It was rough. And I was young and stubborn. Wife, baby, no job. I shoulda got a haircut and shut up, but Noooooo…. So then I heard about a new station opening up in a small town in Kentucky. Went over to interview. Owner was blind. Loved me! Hired me! Yes!

Walking back to my car, I passed the local newspaper office. Hey, my cousin used to be the editor here. Yes. I actually wrote a story and sent it to him from Germany while I was in the service. So I went in to pitch an idea for a weekly editorial cartoon, make a buck or two on the side. The publisher was my age, early twenties. Loved me! Yes! Looked up my story from the newspaper files — offered me the job of editor on the spot. Wow!

And when I went back to the radio station for my first day the owner had been informed about my scandalously long hair and he fired me immediately. Okay… So I ended up as a newspaper editor with zero qualifications and it was great fun and neato experiences at extremely low pay. Ha! We survived and it makes for terrific memories now…

Since then I have dabbled in newspaper work off and on, writing reviews of plays and films, a humor column, drawing editorial cartoons (at last, and very badly!) and then theatre drawings of live plays. Sort of a (very) low-rent Hirschfeld, published in the Dayton City Paper alongside their reviews, usually written by the brilliant Russell Florence. After about a year of that the publisher asked me to be Associate Editor. How could I refuse? So again, great fun, interesting stories, the whole bit. And a super crowd there, terrific people on staff to joke around with as we knocked out the paper for that week.

As Diane’s needs increased I left the AE job behind and then the play drawings as well. She needs me here much more in recent years. No problem of course. And the paper has asked me to draw their writers along the way, from photos, and it’s a lot of fun.
Here is the most recent: Art Brittany Erwin, Dayton City PaperBrittany Erwin pic

Cute, isn’t she? Maybe one day in the dim, distant future she will also be an old reporter, finding SOME way to keep her hand in the journalism racket… Ya think??

Thank you for reading!


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