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Jackson Brower: On Gordon Crump's mentoring young journalist

B>>I re-read the story by Gordon Crump, Memory: 'Someday I must go back to the Hill of Lindsey Wilson' and loved word of it, and wrote just a bit of the personal memories I have of this wonderful man and the impact he had on my life. (For what it's worth, when I lived in KY, I had a "Wood is Wonderful" bumper sticker on my truck.) - Jackson Brower

By Jackson Brower

If it weren't for Gordon Crump, I would never have pursued the fine calling of journalism - aka newspapering.

Gordon Crump was one of the most amazing persons I have ever met in my life.

After I was hired at Waggener-Walker Newspapers (headquarters and plant then at 108 N Reed Street, Columbia, KY) in February, 1974, I was sent by to the Atlanta, Georgia state archives by Ed Waggener, per Gordon's request, to research local history for the special publication known as Historical Chronicles of the South.

The historical local history newspaper was printed in the tabloid style, and it was a big hit with history buffs' newfound infatuation with the pioneers of the United States, driven largely by the 1976 Bicentennial.

I worked for with Gordon and publisher Ed Waggener for about six years; and I had the utmost respect for them for the simple reason that they knew a lot more stuff about printing, publishing, sales and writing/photography (Polaroid style) than I surely knew.

I learned so much important stuff while working there, not to mention a new craft or livelihood that I did not know I had within me.

The whole scene was an exciting challenge for me, which set the stage for the rest of my adventure-filled life.

Since I left Kentucky in 1982, I went back to school to take journalism studies at West Virginia University and then worked for three newspapers up in Pennsyltucky. Included in that list of small town papers is the Monongahela Valley - South Hills Messenger where I have contributed my work For the past 10 years. In conclusion, I remember how Gordon Crump used to greet me in the Columbia Daily Statesman office each morning, if I got to work first.

He would calmly and politely ask, "What do you have going, Jackson?" if to say, "You are in my desk, you can be the editor, or what can I do to help you?" Gordon was that kind of guy, and he will be remembered for a very long time in Columbia and throughout Kentucky and Tennessee where all his kinsfolk live. - Jackson Brower

This story was posted on 2017-10-22 04:40:43
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