I went to work for the Union-Bulletin on Sept. 1 of 1968, and my very first assignment was to interview Whitman College coach Roy Thompson at a practice field adjacent to Borleske Stadium for a story in the next day’s paper about the Missionaries’ football team.
A few days later, I met Felix Fletcher at the Wa-Hi campus and interviewed the legendary Blue Devils football coach for a preview story I wrote on that weekend’s game.
As I look back now after all of the years, I’m gratified to know that was a pretty impressive one-two punch to start out one’s daily newspaper journalism career.
With the exception of one hot summer spent in Phoenix, Ariz., in the early 1970s, I’ve worked for the Union-Bulletin ever since that first day of September in 1968. I’ve gone from part-timer to full-timer to sports editor and now, in my “Golden Years,” I’m once again on part-time status.
And enjoying every minute of it.
In this most recent — and last — role with the U-B, I get to write columns and feature stories on a regular basis, stories I never seemed to find the time to write as the lead person in the sports department. At the same time I am able to keep a hand in the daily operation of the paper by helping out whenever the staff is shorthanded or the workload is heavy.
My strength as a small-town sports journalist, as I see it, is that I know the territory. Sports traditions run deep in this valley, and I’ve been a first-hand observer over the past 45 years. I try to put this knowledge to good use whenever I can.
My wife Margaret and I have seven children, 20 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who keep us busy. We also love to travel, which we are now able to do more often.
In my spare time, I’m a regular at the YMCA fitness center and a semi-regular on the golf course.
It keeps rumbling up and down main street, the question begging to be asked.
Jerry Dedloff returns to his alma mater for his second stint as football coach, this time competing at the 8-man level.
Lindsay Chutas has always possessed a steadfast sense of her own self worth.
Ed Fiddes won the first Walla Walla All-City Championships golf tournament in 1950.
About a fifth of the field is expected to play from the longer blue tees this weekend.
Having twice visited Europe in recent years, I have been blessed with some memorable moments.
After capturing the first conference title in school history, the 1979 WWCC football team returns to Walla Walla.
Steve Kizer coached football for 15 seasons at Walla Walla Community College, the last 10 as the Warriors’ defensive coordinator under Mike Levens.
Like Sweet Onions and fine wine, Tony Gwynn’s name is a point of pride in the Walla Walla Valley.
Baseball’s finer points — its history and traditions, its long-standing love affair with America’s sporting public — were examined recently in this space. Now for a rebuttal.