What a storyteller.
Boston Globe journalist Jack Thomas, who wrote about his impending death a few months ago, made me laugh out loud several times in this touching essay. Very powerful. He was 83.
I’ve had the privilege of having spent more than 60 years working for newspapers. There was not a day when it wasn’t a pleasure to go to work. Any doubts I had about newspapering as a career were dissolved on my paper route one Friday night in March 1953. I picked up my bundle of 45 copies of the Record that were tossed from a truck into the doorway of Berry’s hardware store and I was startled at the biggest, blackest headline I had ever seen: “STALIN DEAD.”
Newspaper bag over my shoulder, I began my one-hour route, crossing the railroad tracks in Port Norfolk, a neighborhood where the teenage gang took pride in calling themselves Port Rats. So eager were people for their evening newspaper and details of Stalin’s death that many were waiting for me on their front porch.
To me, every daily newspaper was a wonder — all those stories, local, national, global, all written on deadline, with photographs, analysis, columns, editorials, comics and crossword, not to mention all that news about the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins — if that isn’t a miracle, what is?
The Stalin story required coordination among correspondents in Moscow, telegraphers transmitting their stories, and among others in Boston, at the Record, foreign editors, photo editors, copy editors, compositors, pressmen, truck drivers and the least significant cog in the entire process, me, although I was the luckiest, because it was I who handed the newspaper to the grateful reader, and it was I who heard the words, “Thank you.” — Jack Thomas, The Boston Globe