Just a short note to tell you how wonderful it was to have (now-retired MDJ editor emeritus) Bill Kinney jump-start my journalism career.
Thinking of myself as a budding football star at Marietta High School about 65 years ago, I saw Bill Kinney at fall practice and asked him when he was going to put my name in the paper.
“When you write something,” he said.
I did, took it to him, and he said, “What have you got for tomorrow?” And, “You’d better type it this time.”
I did, and have wished ever since I had learned typing.
I last asked someone what he/she had for tomorrow as the 1990s loomed at The Tampa Tribune. That was 40 years later.
I was in the MHS Class of 1951, with such future journalistic luminaries as Bill Shipp and Priscilla Arnold (Davis). They both went to college. I didn’t. Mike Edwards, who would gain fame as a National Geographic magazine staffer, had the Journal’s scholarship and didn’t give it up that year. I didn’t have the grades, anyway.
But at age 18, I went off the work on the Columbus Enquirer for five years, moved to the Birmingham News and jumped into major beats at 23. And went off to the Tampa Tribune in 1960. I was there 30 years, the last half of them as managing editor.
You see, I had attended college at the elbow of Bill Kinney. There was no better education in the newspaper business than that.
He was my hero, and thank God he was there. Judging from the retirement profile in the March 9 MDJ, he meant a lot to a lot of people.
But the man who said, “When you write something,” and then taught me how to do it, will always be my hero.
Smiths Station, Ala.