Thoughts about receiving the lifetime achievement award at the Society of Professional Journalists' Oklahoma Pro awards banquet in at Southern Hills Hilton in Tulsa last night (also known as a version of speech), after being introduced by former student, freelance journalist, friend and organization president Carol Cole-Frowe.
"When I think of things I deserve, an image of the guillotine comes to mind, or thoughts of being locked up for eternity with Beck, O'Reilly and Sally Kern.
So I was almost speechless a couple of weeks ago when Carol left me a message to call her. I thought she might have a new job, or want to gig me about the Sooners and Longhorns.
This is such an honor, one I never dreamed of. I have the best of two worlds. I get to work with journalists and do some journalism, but I don't have to put the paper to bed and work late on Tuesday nights.
Susan kids me because at OPA I always refer to community journalists as "my people." I feel at home here with you. Thank you.
And I get to work with students, 25 years now at OSU and UCO. Their passion, energy, hope and passion fuels me in this cynical doom and gloom work of journalism today. I look over this room and see so many former students. Thank you, you save me from the world of academic red tape (I used another word in the speech).
I also thank my wife Susan for putting up with me. And my ex-wife and four wonderful children who have done the same thought the years.
To be included in this honor with the likes of Mick Hinton, John Greiner, Phil Parrish, Ed Montgomery, Carter Bradley and Ralph Sewell really does stun me. That's major league
To the young journalists present--keep entering the contests. You need these pats on the back because you won't get them anyplace else. And work on being a character, an individual, like those guys and, maybe me.
My colleagues present from UCO (Drs. Hanebutt, Nelson and Krishnaswami) know I'm liable to say anything. In my case, I know this award is also because I'm old--increased tree rings, increased waist line, and increased trips to the bathroom at night.
But I still know how to write a tight lead.
I'm proud to be a journalist.