Monday, October 12, 2015

4 jewels in BJ’s crown
A glorious reminder of Ol' Blue Walls' fabulous past:

1968: Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for John S. Knight, for a selection of his Editor’s Notebook weekly columns, largely opposing the Vietnam War and defending the public’s right to protest. He had begun the column in 1936 and wrote it for four decades, “in a style that would range from the wistfully poetic to the angry and agonizing,” according to Knight biographer Charles Whited.

1971: Pulitzer Prize for General Local Reporting for coverage of the National Guard shootings that killed four students and wounded nine at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. It included seven pages of stories and photos in the May 5 paper, and ongoing stories in the following weeks that attempted to answer questions about the shootings and the decisions that led to the confrontation.

1987: Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting for “The Goodyear War.” The special section reconstructed the attempt by investors, led by Sir James Goldsmith, to take over Akron’s biggest employer and loyal corporate citizen, Goodyear. It examined the potential effects on 13,000 local employees, schools, thousands of retirees, the United Way, churches and many other facets of community life.

1994: Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for “A Question of Color,” a series that urged readers to examine and discuss race relations, attitudes and how race plays a part in housing, crime, business and education. It led to the formation of Coming Together, an organization that promoted racial harmony and cultural awareness, and President Bill Clinton came to Akron to take the community’s dialogue to the rest of the country in a televised town meeting.
I credit Pat Englehart for being the driving force behind the Pulitzer for the Kent State coverage and Larry Williams for being the same for the Goodyear coverage.

Health report on Harry’s son

Health report on Bob Liggett, the late Harry Liggett’s son, from the patient himself:

“The good news - mri on both the hip and groin/pelvis better than I expected. Nothing new on the groin. Right hip shows minor labral tear but not even close for surgery. Day one is done. Staying the night for more tomorrow. Getting massage work and core exercises tomorrow.

Bob Liggett
“Doc is totally onboard for standing workstation. Gave me an actual prescription for one. The bad chair did cause some problems but with proper treatment Doc expects full recovery. Until it settles down completely I keep mileage low. If employer does not get me standing desk then I am leaving my employer.”
Bob is being treated in Philadelphia.
Hoban High and University of Akron accounting graduate Bob, who lives in Copley, once worked at KeyCorp. He’s also a runner (the kind who go miles and miles each time out), and once stopped during a race to help a runner who required EMS assistance. He’s had a kidney transplant.

Bob’s brother, Tom, also a Hoban and U. of Akron graduate, is Community Pregnancy Center director of development and lives in Akron.

Their mother was the late Helen Smolak Liggett.

PD and former BJ entertainment critic Mark Dawidziak and actor Hal Holbrook, joined at the hip with their love for and admiration of author Mark Twain, had another reunion Sunday night, Oct. 11 in Toledo’s Valentine Theatre.

Holbrook, 90, was performing “Mark Twain Tonight,” his signature one-man show about the humorist from Hannibal, before a sellout crowd. Mark was there to applaud and hug Hal.

They’ve been together many times over the years, in venues around the country, including the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut and at Elmira (New York) College, the town that has Twain’s grave site. Dawidziak does Twain shows at the drop of the hat if there are three or more people standing on a street corner. And well.

Holbrook’s Twain production, which began in 1954 at Lock Haven State Teachers College in Pennsylvania, is the longest continuously running play in theater history.

Harold Rowe Holbrook, Jr. has starred in such movies as “Lincoln” and “All the President’s Men” (as Deep Throat, who provided tips to reporters Woodward and Bernstein that caused Richard Nixon to resign his presidency).

The role of Mark Twain got its start when Holbrook’s first wife, Ruby, would interview him portraying famous people onstage. When they had a child, Holbrook inquired about finding another actress to take over Ruby’s role, but it was suggested that he adapt the material for him to perform as a solo. Which he did, for more than 60 years.

Said Holbrook: “I always stay as Mark Twain in 1901.” No updating to make it more topical because Twain’s observations are just as on-the-money today as they were more than a century ago.

Twain, who lived from 1835 when he was Samuel Langhorne Clemmens to 1910, saw the impact of the Civil War and witnessed a time when the United States shifted from a farming society to one of growing industry. He routinely wrote about the absurdities of social and political norms.

Holbrook was born in Cleveland to vaudeville dancer Aileen Davenport Holbrook (1905-1987) and Harold Rowe Holbrook, Sr (1902-1982).
Holbrook married Ruby Holbrook in 1945 and they divorced in 1965. They had two children. He married Carol Eve Rossen in 1966 and they divorced in 1983. They had one child. His final marriage was to “Designing Women” actress Dixie Carter in 1984. They remained married until her death in 2010.
Holbrook’s film career ranges from “The Group” in 1966 to “Go With Me” in 2015.
Dawidziak came to the BJ from Tennessee in 1983 and grew up on New York City’s Long Island. His latest Twain tome is "Mark Twain's Guide to Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health and Happiness” which was preceded by “Mark Twain’s Ohio.”
Dawidziak is married to Sara Showman Dawidziak, who often performs with Mark when they’re not at their Cuyahoga Falls home.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dick Latshaw’s brother passes away

Larry Ray Latshaw, brother of retired BJ printer Dick Latshaw, who has lived on Pawleys Island, South Carolina for 16 year with wife Pat, passed away Saturday, Oct. 3.

Dick and Pat live two blocks from BJ business department retiree Harold McElroy’s widow, Linda. Retired printer Sid Sprague, who also lived near them on Pawleys Island, moved to Loveland, Colorado with his new bride after his first wife died.
Dick & Pat Latshaw

If you want to offer Dick your condolences, his email is and his phone number is

Larry’s obituary:

Larry Ray Latshaw

Larry Ray Latshaw, 73, died on October 3, 2015 at Barberton Hospital following a short illness.

Born in Titusville, Pa. on November 8, 1941, he lived most of his life in the Akron area. Larry was a Garfield High School graduate and veteran of the U.S. Air Force and retired from CF Consolidated Freightways after 30 years of loyal service. He loved fishing and the company of other veterans and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3383 and the American Legion Post #449.

Larry was preceded in death by his mother, Doris (Denny) Ronk and father, Ken Ronk. He is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 41 years, Patricia Ann Latshaw; daughters, Cherie Owens (Ken) of Akron, Loree Conley (John) of Akron, Misti Kerns (Chris) of California; son, Jeff Seals of Akron; grandchildren, Nicholas and Rachael Conley, Katie Coughlin, Alex Turner, Sierra Seals, all of Akron and Kalei Kerns of California; brothers, Dick Latshaw (Pat) of South Carolina and Ken Ronk (Lucinda) of Pennsylvania; and many nieces and nephews.

At his request, no services will be held. The family gathered to say good-bye at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local Veterans Association. Condolences and special memories may be shared online at . Heritage Cremation Society


Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Oct. 9, 2015

The obituary for Larry and Dick’s mother, Doris Ronk, who passed away last year at the age of 97.

Doris Ronk (nee Denny)

Doris Ronk (nee Denny), age 97, went home to be with her Lord on July 14, 2014.

She was preceded in death by husband, Kenneth. She is survived by three sons, Richard Latshaw (Pat), Larry Latshaw (Pat) and Kenny Ronk (Lucinda); eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and one on the way; three great-great-grandchildren; and her church family.

There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Christian Assembly at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Doris Ronk Food Bank at the church (925 W. Hopocan Avenue, Barberton, OH 44203). ADAMS MASON FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY, 330-535-9186


Published in Akron Beacon Journal on July 20, 2014
Mark Price still plumbing Akron history

BJ editior Mark Price’s book, "Lost Akron," from Arcadia Publishing, has been out since July but I missed it.

Former BJ sports editor & other roles Ken Krause tipped me off about the book and Dorothy Markulis’ laudatory August article in the Tallmadge Express about it.

Mark Price
You can read Dorothy’s book review that kickstarts her Akron memories by clicking on

If you want to buy Mark’s “Lost Akron,” it’s available on for $14 in paperback, $11.29 new and used and $9.99 on Kindle (you know, the thing you hold in your hands and scroll through the pages while you’re at a concert or on a plane).

You still can buy Mark’s “The Rest Is History: True Tales From Akron’s Vibrant Past” for $15.16 paperback or $14.36 new and used. It was published in 2012 by the University of Akron (or is it the University of Z?) Ringtaw Books.

When Mark isn’t a BJ copy editor, he’s writing “This Place, This Time,” some mighty fine back to the past articles about the Akron area and its landmarks and landmark events.

Mark is married to Susan Gapinski Price. They met around the BJ copy desk. And lived their love story when they married in 2010.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Another gig for Elaine Guregian

Former BJ arts and culture critic Elaine Guregian will join the Northeast Ohio Medical University as Assistant Director of Public Relations and Marketing on Oct. 15. Previously, she was Development Officer for Corporate and Foundation Relations with the Summa Foundation.

Elaine Guregian
Northeast Ohio Medical University, also known as NEOMED, and formerly known as the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, is in Rootstown and had the good fortune to graduate my grandson, Dylan, who currently is a doctor at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Elaine was classical music and dance critic at Ol’ Blue Walls for 16 years before expanding into arts and culture to add theater to her coverage. Her late mother, Carol Guregian, was a teacher in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Elaine left the BJ in the 2008 exodus, when 18 walked out with 273 years of service. In 2006 there were 24 departures with 335 years of service, including the best food writer in BJ history, Jane Snow. 2001 was the most massive migration from Ol’ Blue Walls: five CENTURIES of service walked out the door, including Tom Melody, Art Krummel, Mickey Porter, Joan Rice and Steve Love, all likely candidates if they ever have a BJ Hall of Fame.

That’s a THOUSAND years of service, and more than that in lifetime career experience, that left the BJ in three momentous days! Ol’ Blue Walls never recovered.

And all this came AFTER my 1996 retirement which freed me to travel to 53 countries, 43 states and take 11 cruises with my late wife Monnie and my current love of 11 years, Paula Stone Tucker, a 1970s State Desk reporter who wised up and became a psychologist.

Former BJ editor Tom Suchan, who took a lot of ribbing, as I did, because he was Polish but was one superb newsman, passed away Oct. 2 in Wichita.

Tom’s wife, Kay, broke the news to me. She wrote:


“I know Tom enjoyed reading the BJ blog for many years. He'd often mention an item that you'd posted.  I'm sorry to say he won't be doing that any more.

“He suffered a brain aneurysm on Sept. 1 and another brain stroke about the 20th. He passed away on Oct. 2. Services aren't until the 17th to allow time for his brothers and other relatives to travel Wichita.

“Thank you for the work you do in keeping the blog going.


Zapraszamy do Nieba, Tom.

Tom once showed up for work at the BJ with one brown and one black shoe. That became part of Beacon lore, like Pat Englehart’s DeNobil cigars or Fran Murphey’s loving ”Go to Hell!”

When I had a "Polish party" in the garage of my Cuyahoga Falls house, Suchan was most appropriately dressed in "Polish," and carried a Polsky shopping bag. And he wasn't in costume!

He wore tennis shoes instead of one brown and one black shoe. I loved it! Tom, with Kay his willing accomplice, captured the spirit of my “Polish” party better than anyone else who showed up.

After 13 years at Ol’ Blue Walls, Tom left the Beacon Journal to go to work for Hustler magazine owner Larry Flynt in September 1977. Flint was starting a mainstream publication, Ohio Magazine, and named Tom the executive editor. But that didn’t go well. Tom started his new job on Labor Day and left the following Valentine’s Day.

Former BJ managing editor Scott Bosley, retired in Kalamazoo, Michigan these days, got Tom a job with the Wichita Eagle in 1978.

At the age of 48 in 1991. Tom retired from newspapers and switched to writing the Great American Novel, growing tomatoes and volunteering.
Tom got nothing but rejection slips for his manuscripts, the tomatoes died horrible deaths in the 100-degree Wichita sun but the volunteering took off. As Tom explained it 30 years ago:

“We work at a camp for the handicapped … in the kitchen whipping up wonderful goodies. We work at a soup kitchen in downtown Wichita. And we work at a homeless shelter preparing meals.”

The Kielbasa Kid found his niche in the world in Wichita, and it wasn’t by getting ink on his hands.

Oh, Tom still wrote – a column for the parish monthly newspaper.

Tom and Kay have four children and 11 grandchildren.

When the Super Desk was created, wiping out the State Desk, City Editor Scott Bosley became Metro Editor and Tom was switched from the Sunday Department to become asssociate Metro Editor. State Editor Editor Pat Englehart got the Special Projects title and was hidden in an office near the parking deck entrance as punishment for building such a loyal empire of editors and reporters in his former domain.

As a special tribute to Tom, I offer some famous Polish proverbs and their translations:

Jak sobie poscielesz, tak sie wyspisz
How you make your bed, thus will you rest.

Bez pracy nie ma kolaczy
Without work there won't be supper.

(I think my Polish grandmother wrote that one; at least, she lived it and preached it to me throughout my childhood.)

Moja dupa i twoja twarz to blizniacy
My arse and your face are twins.

Wszystkie czasy są dobre, gdy stary.

All times are good when old.

Komu pora, temu czas
When it's your time, you have to go.

W dzisiejszych czasach trzeba iść do nieba, aby spotkać anioła.

Nowadays you must go to heaven to meet an angel.

And Tom did.

If you want to offer condolences to Kay and the Suchan family, the address is:

310 S. Nineiron Court
Wichita, KS 67235

The phone number is:

(316) 722-7809

And the email is

After reading this blog article, Kay wrote:


"I loved the Polish Proverbs. Being the good German that I am, Tom always reminded me about who won the war.”

That’s the Tom Suchan humor that we all loved.
RIP, Tom.
Tom Suchan’s obituary in the Wichita, Kansas Eagle:

Suchan, Thomas 73, retired Wichita Eagle journalist, passed away October 2, 2015. Tom was a longtime member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. He is survived by his wife, Kay; children, Matt, Jeffrey (Diahann), Amy (Steve) and William; brothers, Ken (Pat), Bob (Jean); and 12 grandchildren. Rosary is 7:30 p.m. Friday; Mass of Christian Burial is 10 a.m. Saturday, October 17, both at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Memorials may be sent to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church or Anthony Shelter.

Published in The Wichita Eagle on Oct. 11, 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Channeling Chrissie

Great Wall Street Journal story on rock singer Chrissie Hyndes reflecting on her “abnomally normal” Akron childhood.

Click on

to read it.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Great Scott! 1,360 miles in 6 days!

Dave Scott, BJ regional issues reporter and deputy Business editor before he joined the April 2014 buyouts mass exodus, is home after driving 1,360 miles in six days.

Wrote Dave:

It was a lot of fun but I came home weary of driving. Phil had a good time, too and it certainly was good to see John and the Shaws.”
That would be Webb Shaw, Dave's brother-in-law, and wife Katie Gaab-Shaw. Webb retired in 2014 as Vice President of Editorial Resources at J. J. Keller & Associates in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Krauses hob-nob with the artsy crowd

Former BJ sports editor Ken Krause and former BJ business writer Maura McEnaney Krause mingled with the artsy crowd at the Arts Across Medford’s kickoff event at Chevalier Theatre. The sartorial choices were red tie or black tie … for the men, of course. Spiffy dresses for the women.
In April Ken, who lives with Maura on Mystic Street in Medford, Massachussetts, had a class reunion at the 29th annual Showcase, the biggest annual fundraiser for St. Vincent-St. Mary, in the school’s LeBron James Arena.
Ken is one of seven siblings.
Maura works for Fidelity Investments, headquartered in Boston. Maura is the author of “Willard Garvey: An Epic Life.” Garvey built homes in the USA, South America and Asia for people with low incomes, is owner-operator of the “world’s largest” grain elevator, is the “largest private landowner in Nevada” and builder of Kansas’s tallest building—the Epic Center with its slanted copper roof.

Syracuse graduate Maura’s more than three decades as a business writer and editor include being on the BJ team that won a Pulitzer Gold Medal for its “A Question of Color” about race relations in the Akron area. She left the BJ for Boston in 2000 and later worked for Bloomberg News.

Ken and Maura wound up in Medford because Maura has a lot of family in the Boston area.

Bob Shaw, father of former BJ newsroom editor Webb Shaw, who retired in December 2014 after 22 years with J.J. Keller, still holds the record for most TD passes in an NFL game. Kellen Winslow and Jerry Rice tied his achievement, set in 1950, but no one in 65 years has exceeded it.

The Browns’ Dante Lavelli had 4 TD passes in 1949.

Wrote Webb:

Sixty-five years ago this weekend, my Dad set the NFL record for most touchdown passes caught in one game. On Oct. 2, 1950, Bob Shaw hauled in 5 TD passes for the Chicago Cardinals in a game against the Baltimore Colts. The record has been matched by Kellen Winslow Sr. and Jerry Rice, but never beaten. Way to go, Dad! You're gone but not forgotten.”

Webb’s father, the late Ohio native and Fremont Ross High football star Bob Shaw, was an all-American end on Ohio State’s 1942 national championship team coached by the legendary Paul Brown, who eventually guided the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. Later Bob Shaw was a tight end with the 1949 Los Angeles Rams and was receivers coach with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 when they beat the New York Giants to win the NFL championship in what has been called "The Greatest Game Ever Played."


Webb’s mom was Mary, who caught Bob’s eye when she was selling candy as an usherette at the Ohio Theater while the Buckeye players were downtown to watch a movie. Webb’s wife is Katie Gaab-Shaw.


Bob Shaw coached briefly at Cuyahoga Falls High School.
He was born in 1921 in Richwood, Ohio and died in 2011 at the age of 89 in Westerville, Ohio.

Webb was Director Editorial of Resources at J.J. Keller and part of the SIIA Content Division Buyer-Seller Working Group, which met monthly to act as an advisory group to the Buyer-Seller Project, discuss issues and challenges they are facing and to network.

The NFL’s best one-game pass TV legends:


Player (age), + - HOFer, Bold - Active