Friday, September 28, 2007
Trish over at Liberal Chicks had a post about having to listen to somebody's personal life from her speaking on a telephone for an hour on a train. I commented that Trish could read Tropic of Cancer into a toy telephone with the chutzpah of Jackie Gleason in response next time. It made me laugh that she liked my comment and the bit about Gleason. I don't know if anybody reads Tropic of Cancer anymore. My college roommate Craig read it just as a thing to do our freshman year in college and read me a few lines. His father not only had a moment in the sun but, also in light of the rest of his career, became European News Manager for UPI. Thinking about him reminds me of the time I was down with Craig at the Dallas office. Mr. F. was leaving and ran into a peer. "How are you doing, Bill?" "Fine, thanks." "How are Joyce and the kids?" A back and forth verbal stroking that was pro forma but seemingly informal that went on for some 4-5 queries on each side while Mr F. continued in stride to the elevator and the other down the hall. Never seen such otherwise. Really it was part of information, relationship management on both sides. Craig was a news manager himself. He went from copy boy at the Wall Street Journal to bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald to living retired in a brownstone in NY worth some million + dollars. When I talked to him last year to arrange a meeting with my son, he could cite truths from novels about the politics of Louisiana over the last century. My favorite news manager story about Craig though occurred in the year after his undergraduate degree. He was in Austin for some reason and was walking across the mall and ran into Dr. Reddng(?), the Dean of Journalism who was a little bit pompous, a little bit uninformative the time I happened to hear him at the Y. Craig and Dr. Redding greeted each other and Dr. Redding asked Craig, who had a C average in the doctor's recollection, what he was doing? Craig, "Working in New York." Dr. Redding, "That's good. I'm glad you found journalism isn't for you (slight pause). What are you doing?." Craig, "I'm a reporter for the Wall Street Journal."