Thursday, May 29, 2014

Estate sale at the Liggetts’ home Friday, Saturday

Harry and Helen Liggett.

Bob Liggett, son of the late Beacon Journal editor Harry Liggett and his wife, Helen, wrote today kindly asking that we inform BJ Alums readers of an estate sale taking place at his parents’ Firestone Park home on Friday and Saturday.

Bob reports that there will be much Beacon Journal memorabilia available from his father’s office. An ad for the sale also highlights items such as family histories – noting that Harry was also a well-known genealogist – tools, and much more.

The Liggetts bought their Akron home, at 544 N. Firestone Blvd., in 1965, the year Harry started his 30-year career at the Beacon Journal. He lived in the carefully cared for white Cape Cod house until he died on January 24, 2014. Helen Liggett passed away in 2010.

Hours for the estate sale are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31.

Later Harry's son wrote: 
Today's (June 3) Akron Beacon Journal front page of the Community section has an article on Bob Jones. He has a private museum filled with the history of the City of Akron. Bob picked up a handful of items from my Dads this past weekend. If you ever get a chance to tour it you will come across some of my Dads items. Pretty cool stuff!

As Bob Dyer wrote, Jones also is displayed the old BJ tower sign in his museum "basement."

Friday, May 23, 2014

‘Waltons’ patriarch Ralph Waite dies

Ralph Waite, who played patriarch John Walton Sr. on “The Waltons” for nine seasons, died in February at age 85.

Ralph Waite
The series about a rural Virginia family struggling through the Great Depression, premiered in 1972 and ran for nine seasons on CBS, earned 13 Emmys, and was watched by 18 million people weekly. It was the No. 1-rated drama by its second season.

“The Waltons” was based on Earl Hamner’s best-selling novelized memoir, “Spencer’s Mountain,” which was adapted into a 1963 film starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara, “Spencer’s Mountain.”

Michael Learner played matriarch Elizabeth Walton. Richard Thomas played John-Boy. Ellen Corby, who died in 1999, and Will Geer, who died in 1978, played the grandparents. The other children were played by Mary McDonough (Erin), Judy Norton (Mary Ellen), Jon Walmsley (Jason), Eric Scott (Ben), David W. Harper (Jim-Bob), Kami Kotler (Elizabeth), Roni Claire Edwards (Corabeth),  Leslie Winston (Cindy). Robert Wightman was John-Boy, Jr. Claire Shane played Virginia “Ginny” Walton.

Future stars appeared in a few episodes. John Ritter, as the Rev. Matthew Fordwick. Wilford Brimley. as Horace Brimley;  George Tobias, as Vernon Rutley; Cleavon Little, as Hawthorne Dooley;  Paul Michael Glaser, as Todd Cooper; Sissy Spacek, as Sarah Jane Simmons;  Linda Purl, as Alica Hanover;  William Windom, as Charlie Snead; Ned Beatty, as Curtis Norton; Ron Howard, as Seth Turner; Gerald McRaney, as Tim Collins; and Erin Moran, as Sally Ann Harper.

Series creator Earl Hamner, 90, was the unseen narrator.  

To read more about “The Waltons” and its cast and guest stars, click on

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tom Moore with teletype machines that must be in a museum somewhere today
When the sound of teletypes let you know you were in a newsroom

BJ newsroom retiree Tom Moore takes us back to The Land of Long, Long Ago when the BJ copy desk got its state and world news from teletype machines, which clacked out information like some phantom typist.

Posts Tom:

“Here's how we used to get all the news .. the wire room of the Akron Beacon Journal .. the real window on the world at that time.

We’re talking a LONG time ago, since the BJ began receiving its wire news via computers in the 1970s. That’s four decades!

Someone had to tear off the paper for each story and put them on spikes of various categories and priorities. When the copy editor read the story, he would cross out unwanted words and paragraphs, maybe even cut and paste in new information between paragraphs. Glue was critical.

When you heard a lot of bells dinging on the teletype you knew something urgent was printing out. I worked at the Dayton Daily News when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The bells rang incessantly that day.

Sports and Business departments had their specialty teletypes to clack on information for their topics.

I succeeded Pat Englehart as newsroom electronics coordinator and trained the first person in the newsroom on the first terminal in the newsroom, starting with the Sunday Department where Larry Bloom and Bill Bierman worked, in the late 1970s.

The teletype machines went the way of Composing’s linotype machines. And progress moved on to wipe out other equipment.

The newsroom was a loud, bustling place in those days. 

Now the BJ has about one-fourth the humans than it did when the teletypes clacked and ding-dinged away. 

Silence, in this case, is not golden.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Black Keys beat out Michael Jackson

The Black Keys’ new album, “Turn Blue,” was the No. 1 seller on the Billboard 200 list for the week ending May 18. Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” was second.

Firestone High graduates Patrick Carney, son of retired BJ reporter Jim Carney, and Dan Auerbach sold 164,000 copies to 157,000 for the late King of Pop.

"Fever,” the first single from "Turn Blue," topped both the Alternative airplay and Rock Airplay charts.

"Turn Blue" is the third top 10 album for the Black Keys. "El Camino" was No. 2 in 2011 with 206,000 copies. “Brothers” in 2010 was No. 3 in its debut.

To read the Billboard article, click on

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Black Keys are the key to $28,000 baseball fundraiser

The Black Keys sponsored West Akron Baseball League T-shirts raised $28,000 for the youth league where band members Pat Carney and Dan Auerbach once played. 

Jim Carney, Maura McEnaney, Patrick Carney with
West Akron Baseball League T-shirts
Firestone High grads Carney and Auerbach formed the Grammy-winning band that tours the world.

Steve Milkovich, WABL board member and vice president of T-Ball, said he’s seen the T-shirts springing up all over the country.

“How great is it that Jim Carney [Pat Carney’s father and former Beacon Journal reporter] is backstage at a “Saturday Night Live” performance and they’re wearing the WABL shirts?” he said.

So was Maura McEnaney, married to former BJ sports editor Ken Krause and living in Medford, Massachussetts.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Catching up with . . . George Davis

At my request, George Bing Davis, who came from Stark County to the BJ so long ago that he was my immediate predecessor as BJ TV Editor (and I started that job in 1980), provides an update on his life since the BJ.

      Life is still good for me and my wife of 50 years, Merleen. We celebrated with dinner for 28 family members and significant others on Feb. 22 at the Bistro in Green. What a great place and staff. Our four children, 10 grandchildren and a great-grandson born last October were there. All are healthy and delightful to be with.
George and Merleen Davis with granddaughter
Allison Jeffries at her Kent State graduation
      I have been listed as retired from the BJ since July 31, 2001, but that's only partially true. I became the city of Canton's first and only Public Information Officer that October, working for more than two years as a liaison between the media and the city, especially the Canton PD and FD.
       I came back to the BJ in 2004, working from home as a correspondent, covering Green. One year and a week later, I was named the first editor of the Jackson Observer weekly for five months – until a second left-knee replacement put me on the shelf.  A third replacement occurred in March 2007 and all has been good since.

    A month after the third replacement, MERSA staff infections for three years and a total of nine surgeries I returned to covering Green school board and city meetings for the BJ. I love keeping my fingers in the business and still cover the meetings while also providing Crime Watch weekly coverage of northern Stark and southern Summit counties police agencies, which I truly enjoy.
      I spent 32 years at the BJ and worked in all newsroom departments other than sports, although my start in the business in 1958-59 involved covering sports while still in high school.
      I'll never forget my colleagues because they were tremendous. I am still in touch with several via email. Their talent and devotion during the decades were rewarded with three team Pulitzer Prizes and a fourth for John S. Knight's compilation of columns. What a newsroom team we had!!!
      Merleen and I enjoy chartered bus trips to see a wide range of locations throughout the eastern U.S. and also visiting with our youngest son and his family in Joliet, Illinois.
      We have been to the National Gospel Quartet Convention and spent time with former high school classmates scattered around the country.
      We have lived in Perry Township in the home we had built in 1975 to raise our brood. We also have a year-round home at Guilford Lake State Park between Salem and Lisbon, where we enjoy boating, cooking out on the deck and sharing life with friends and neighbors. Just a simple phone call is all you need to let us know you'd like to visit and make sure we'll be there.
      My email address is , and my new twitter address is davis_mediaman. You can call my cellphone at 330-575-2926 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. (We no longer are early risers... unless there is a hot a.m. bingo game nearby. LOL)
George Davis

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

NYT publisher: Abramson 10% above compensation of her predecessor

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. said that fired executive editor Jill Abramson was making 10% more than her predecessor, Bill Keller, contrary to reports that Abramson was fired because she demanded equal pay to her male counterparts.

Said Sulzberger: “I decided that Jill could no longer remain as executive editor for reasons having nothing to do with pay or gender.

To read the article, click on  
CNN fires news editor over plagiarism

CNN fired a news editor that it said plagiarized at least 50 stories, mostly from Reuters, during her six months with the cable network.

Marie-Louise Gumuchian, who reported on Africa, Europe and the Middle East from CNN's London bureau, was terminated after one of her stories was flagged during the editing process last week.

An internal investigation uncovered "about 50 published stories" that contained plagiarized material, according to CNN.

Apparently, Ms. Gumuchian isn’t the only one who can Google stories by topic. A CNN copy editor did and found Ms. Gumuchian’s phrase verbatim in a Reuters story. Further Googles turned up more than 100 instances of plagiarized sentences/graphs.

And CNN still has editors. Unlike too many newspapers who slashed so many watchdogs of their stories.

To see the article, click on

Patrick Carney’s dad gets 
the spotlight this time

Now that he’s retired from the BJ, after taking the buyout, reporter Jim Carney has time to do things like be interviewed on WONE radio on Friday.

One of the WONE guys, Edward Esposito, posted: “Great having James Carney join us this morning on the WONE radio show. We talked Black Keys.”

Black Keys, of course, is the Grammy-winning rock band with Jim’s son, Patrick Carney, and Patrick’s Firestone High fellow grad, Dan Auerbach.

Posted BJ reporter Katie Byard, Jim’s wife: “So awesome to hear the guy with radio roots on the radio again.”

Jim was WONE’s secret guest. I think listeners are supposed to find the secret guest and the average brown guy and win a prize. They were found.

The other WONE guys on the morning show are Jeff Kinzbach and Brad Russell.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dueling skunks to bid on Inquirer

The two main owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer are in a pissing match (conjure up an image of two skunks doing the deed) and a judge has scheduled an auction for May 28 ($77 million cash minimum.

Only the owners are allowed to bid.

South Jersey political power and wealthy insurance executive George Norcross is in one sewer, with former New Jersey Net owner Lewis Katz in another.

To read the ugly, tangled mess – as if newspaper don’t have enough problems when the owners get along – click on

Best-dressed BJ photog? It’s a tie

In the days when suits and ties were the fashion of the day in the newsroom, before Fran Murphey wasn't the only one in Levis, these now-retired BJ photographers assembled for this moment in time.

From left to right, Lew Henderson , Ted Walls (who died in 2013), former photo chief Bill Hunter, Ott Gangl and Don Roese.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Black Keys discuss divorces’ downers

In an interview by National Public Radio, The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach, who went from Firestone High to Grammys, discuss breakups and the influence of Dr. John on their music.

Patrick Carney alludes to the difficulties when his dad, former BJ reporter Patrick Carney, divorced and Patrick’s own divorce. 

Patrick said: “I went through a breakup without a child (a divorce involving Cleveland Scene and former BJ reporter Denise Grollmus), and it's really hard. I remember watching my parents go through it when I was 6, and I don't think they were fully over it until I was 24. It's something that just affects you forever, especially if you have kids.”

Auerbach talks about his divorce from Stephanie Gonis “that was just so completely taking over everything.” It also cost Auerbach $5 million, the couple’s home, the Toyota Highlander and custody of singer Bob Dylan’s hair.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dawidziak’s Jim Tully becomes film documentary

Mark Wade Stone
Local film producer Mark Wade Stone has done a documentary based on  “Road Kid to Writer: The Tracks of Jim Tully,” a documentary based on “Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler,” the 2011 biography of the former Kent resident, by former Beacon Journal  and current Plain Dealer critic Mark Dawidziak and Kent’s Paul J. Bauer.

Kent State Press will package Minneapolis native Stone’s documentary DVD and Dawidziak’s Tully book and WNEO/WEAO (Channels 45/49) may televise it.

Stone interviewed Dawidziak and Bauer to set up the framework for the DVD.

To read the article by Rich Heldenfels, who succeeded Dawidziak as the BJ’s TV critic, click on
Jewell’s fond adieu

Bon voyage, Jewell !
Jewell Cardwell’s final column for the BJ was a poignant farewell to all the people she has helped through the decades, since succeeding Fran Murphey.

Like the centenarian in stilettos using a walker. And Ohio’s first sextuplets. And Andy who lost the lower half of his body but not his faith. The Silent Angel who provided appliances for people in need. The blind drunks she took to an Indians game.

After a tip of the hat to her successor, Kim Hone-McMahan, Jewell closes with:

Continue to take care of each other and thanks for the memories.”

To read Jewell’s farewall prose, click on

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

All aboard!

BJ newsroom retiree Tom Moore, who’s a conductor on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad every summer and former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen’s PR flak in Fort Myers for old-guys baseball every autumn, toots the horn for the Canal Exploration Center.

Tom’s pitch:
Took a tour of the new Canal Exploration Center and it was well worth it.
Formerly the Canal Visitors Center, 7104 Canal Road, Valley View, it opens to the public Saturday, May 17, from 10 to 4 p.m.

You can drive there but the best way to see all the great exhibits (hands on including navigating a boat through the canal) is to take a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
Coming from Akron, you'll see the beauty of our National Park, including a deer or two and the two eagles nesting in the Valley. Enjoy a meal from the concession car and relax to the hum of the rails.
When you get to the Center, deboard and it’s only a short walk to the Center and you’ll have an hour or so to view and play with the exhibits then catch the train on its return from Rockside. The train stays at Rockside for an hour or so,  and unfortunately there’s nothing to do except take a walk.
So as a park and train volunteer I hope to see you soon for and adventure in Ohio’s only national park.
The Cuyahoga Scenic Train is operating Friday through Sunday in May, every day except Mondays and Tuesdays in June through October.

Call (800) 468-4070 for details and/or to purchase tickets and make reservations.