My old editor Don Hatfield is very kind to me, one of his first hires at the defunct Huntington (WVA) Advertiser, and herein captures perfectly my angry young combat veteran’s flippant attitude.
Don had a roguish air about himself back then in 1973, with long dark hair perpetually falling over one eye. But I learned from him and his young editors not to editorialize in news copy, as is unfortunately too common today. “If you don’t put it in, I can’t take it out,” one of them told me.
I was determined to write fiction on the side and my opinions sometimes leaked into my reporting. I soon moved on but was so infected by Don and the newspaper virus that I stayed in the biz for 32 more years. I didn’t actually publish any fiction until the advent of Amazon’s CreateSpace.
Striving for objectivity in the gathering and presentation of the news may not be so common nowadays but it is of the most benefit to any community and that was the nobler game Don was always after. His thoughtful memoir is well worth your time and money. And may G-d comfort him for the loss of his wife and three children.