These three buddies represent a time and attitude that we could use a massive insurgence of.
Taken in 1952 or 53 we see Henry Shricker, Indiana's first two time Governor, President Harry Truman and newsman/editor Bob Hoover.
Hoover taught me the ropes and introduced me to his "grapevine" when he broke me in on the police beat in Indianapolis.
At the time of the photo above Bob was the editor of Outdoor Indiana, a post he held from 1952 to 1956. Previously he had been a reporter/photographer for the Indianapolis News, a job he took in 1919.
Photo from Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame
In 1956 he was hired by the 50 thousand Watt WIBC radio where he became America's first "mobile news chief." A car was rigged with an early two way radio system and Bob reported from the scene of all manner of story and incident.
Think about this for a moment. Bob started in newspaper work in 1919 and worked through the heyday of the Front Page era. He broke me in starting in 1969. You can begin to imagine the stories he had.
In his early days when a reporter's salary was not enough to get by, Bob played drums in bands, including his own that toured a bit. He hung out with Hoagy Carmichael and played for Dick Powell. If you've seen the play or film Front Page, you'll have a sense of his time and place. Those guys knew how to have fun.
He remained a dapper gentleman to the end. When he could no longer drive and his health began to fail, he'd get up every morning, put on his suit and tie, make calls to his vast network of contacts and sources and sit by the phone.
Bob and I remained close and I visited with him frequently, and we spoke every day. When the end neared he was hospitalized. Each day he begged me to get his overcoat and help him slip out of "this place."
I look at the photos above and realize what a sad decline we have witnessed in journalism and politics. There are simply too few men and women with the stature and class of of those amigos.
a transitional trio
Though certainly of lesser luminescence, these three amigos came up at a time when we had mentors like the senior men above. This was "back in the day" when we were aiming for our prime.
Tim Dietz on the right is one of the nations leading television news executives. He's been with a Colorado station for many years, but has served NBC, and his corporate group in a variety of capacities including running Olympic news feed operations and transitioning to the digital era. There was a time when Tim was a crack photo journalist and colleague of the "superman" in the middle.
Frequent readers may recognize the middle man as Bruce Taylor, aka the Catalyst of Oddball Observations. Bruce and I worked together in Indianapolis where he too was a colleague of Bob Hoover. Yours truly, in a skinnier incarnation, is on the left. These three found themselves together at political conventions and a number of social mixes over the years. Not sure of the age of this photo but I'm guessing a 1970's vintage.
Bruce and I are retired and Tim is still a dynamo recently winning yet another prestigious award. I got a birthday note from him as he and his beloved took a post Rio Olympics R&R in the Turks and Caicos.
Tim is still fighting the good fight. Bruce and I are a couple of old boys lamenting what has happened to our political and journalistic culture.
Time's change. Thank heavens for old photos and our memories.
See you down the trail.