Wednesday was a challenge for me.
Editing The Daily Record’s story about the layoffs at The Sun was difficult because the journalists let go were “my people” — men and women who are about my age, many of whom I worked with for many years. One of the editors let go Tuesday, Ray Frager, is one of my best friends, and we started working together at The Dallas Morning News in 1982. We were on our interviews together, and he got hired first — for which I have never forgiven him. But I got to The Sun first (after an ill-advised detour to Hartford, Conn.), in January 1985, and three months later, when we had an opening for an editor with his skills, I was the one who called him and encouraged him to apply.
So Wednesday was spent trying to keep track of who was going and who was staying. And updating my Facebook status more on one day then I had in the entire year or so that I had been on it. I got more Facebook messages and instant messenger messages than I ever had.
And to top everything off, the top-seeded Goucher College lacrosse team, which includes freshman attackman Gordon Waldman, lost its semifinal Landmark Conference playoff game to Scranton, 10-9.
And did I mention that I had to do what I actually get paid for doing: putting the paper out. A bigger paper, ironically (I’ll have to ask former Sun Copy Desk Chief John McIntyre if I used ironically correctly … most people don’t), because in The Daily Record’s recent redesign we have actually added four pages of news to the paper every day.
One of my former colleagues at The Sun, Lane Harvey Brown, now a freelance writer and editor in North Carolina, I think put it best in a response to one of my updates. It was, she said, like watching a fire and knowing that your friends are trapped inside.
Things have to get better, don’t they?
(By the way, another former Sun colleague, David Michael Ettlin, has a very detailed and emotional story on the layoffs at his blog, The Real Muck. I highly recommend it.)