Published Friday, September 07, 2012
It happened almost a lifetime ago for me. I was 16-years-old and had applied for and gotten a summer job as office boy of the Macon, Ga., Telegraph and News.
I was hooked, loved the excitement of the newspaper going to press, and liked my job, which was doing and fetching anything anybody wanted and rushing copy back to the composing room.
My hours were 2 in the afternoon to 10 at night. I had thought about being a doctor, but this experience changed the direction of my life.
When the morning paper had gone to press, and my duties were done, a kind editor said: “Would you like to try your hand at writing? Sit down at a typewriter and write me a sports story.”
I did and was employed, when school began, to cover all high school sports for both the morning and afternoon papers at the space rate which was 10 cents an inch and provided my spending money. I skipped the 12th grade in high school and went on to Mercer University.
In two years, I was employed as the youngest sports editor of a daily paper in the nation, joining the staff of the Macon Evening News. I went in at 5 a.m., got out the early edition before going to class at Mercer, and came back about noon to write a sports column for next day’s paper.
I decided to become a full-time student and complete my degree, and the executive editor asked me to write a daily humor column for the Macon Telegraph. A New York syndicate picked it up. So began a long career of column writing that extended into the ministry.
Number of columns written would number into the thousands: 47 continuous years for the Christian Index, seven years for other publications, and more than 15 wonderful years of three columns per week for The Newnan Times Herald.
As I finally say farewell to almost 70 years of writing and never missing a publishing deadline, all thanks must go to editors, publishers and above all faithful readers who were willing to read what I tried to write.
Blessings on you all!