"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ray Lokey's smile and footprints

Ray and I at the 2016 OPA convention
He was always smiling, like he'd just heard the greatest joke in the world.
Ray Lokey, publisher on one of the best newspapers in Oklahoma, The Johnston County Capital-Democrat in Tishomingo, died yesterday after a year long battle with lung cancer.
He will be so missed by his family, his multitude of friends, his town, the innumerable people he influenced and helped by his leadership in the community, and many more. 
This week's paper, and Ray's column
Ray set the standard for excellence in newspaper journalism, with solid news coverage, editorial guts and leadership, in community commitment, in the state press association.
He was always friendly, and glad to see you, and full of stories, and compliments. He brightened the room where he was. Even recently after chemo had taken his hair, he was smiling and positive.
In this week's issue of the paper, a reprint of his front page column "Footprints," appeared, a testament to his mastery in storytelling, but also his illness.
Ray's smile and footprints will not fade from my memory, nor from many others. 
--30--

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