My newspaper career began as a sportswriter for The Anderson Herald. Sportswriters in those days had quite a bit of camaraderie as we hooked up socially and professionally in the course of doing our jobs.
Those days are long gone, and we’ve moved on. Most of us are retired, at least from full-time journalism. But as one of those sayings goes, old sportswriters never die, they just go into syndication.
Thus I was pleasantly surprised when the byline of Mike Lopresti began appearing in The Herald Bulletin recently. Since our days as young sportswriters for our respective papers, Lopresti moved up in the Gannett chain, plying his trade for USA Today before settling into the role of a syndicated columnist. I can relate.
He worked for the Richmond Palladium-Item when I was on the sports staff of The Anderson Herald, this newspaper’s predecessor. He worked under sports editor Jan Clark, moving up when Clark moved into a different phase of the Palladium-Item’s operation.
I started under O.W. “Red” Haven. Across the hall, Jack Martin was sports editor of the Anderson Daily Bulletin. Martin moved on, winding up at the Lafayette Journal-Courier, while I moved up at The Herald. After Haven’s death I was joined by Dave “Ace” Soverly, and later Kevin Lane. Martin’s successors were Sam Norris, Mike Brow, Tom Earl, Don Cronin, Mike Chappell and Ben Smith.
Our paths would cross with writers from other newspapers. Loquacious Clarence Young was at the Elwood Call-Leader, and often we would carpool to college football games or Cincinnati Reds games.
When we began covering the Indiana Pacers we encountered a statistician I remembered working for the Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Before long Joe Baker would wind up at The Herald Bulletin, where his positions were as diverse as mine over the years.
It was natural that writers from the Anderson, Muncie, Marion, New Castle and Kokomo papers would become well acquainted. Bob Barnet was the longtime Muncie Star sports editor, with Ron Lemasters succeeding him. A guy named Rick Teverbaugh got his start there. From the Muncie Evening Press were sports editor Jerry Fennell, Roy Bigger and Warren Collier. At the Marion Chronicle-Tribune was Jack Lake, and later Chuck Landis. Bob Ford was the Kokomo Tribune’s longtime sports editor, along with Mark Morrow and Dave Kitchell. At New Castle was Ken Ford.
Then there were the big-city papers. Bob Collins headed the Indianapolis Star staff, along with guys such as Dave Overpeck and Bill Benner. At the News were Wayne Fuson, Dick Mittman, Jimmie Angelopoulos and Corky Lamm (who got his start with The Herald). Later Chappell moved to the Star as one of the lead Colts reporters.
Time passes and careers come to an end. But some people, such as Lopresti and yours truly, find ways to continue exercising their creativity at their own pace.
Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Wednesday. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.