Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mark takes 'Twain' to McKinley

PD and former BJ pop culture critic Mark Dawidziak’s “Twain By Two” show has been around the country, including the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6 Mark and wife Sara Showman will do the full two-act version at the McKinley Birthplace Museum in the Memorial Auditorium in Niles, Ohio.

Previous venues include the Quarry Farm in Elmira, New York, where Samuel Langhorne Clemens is buried; the Barter Theatre in Virginia, the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio, and dozens of other venues.

Twain/Clemens was born in 1835 in Florida, Missouri, grew up in Hannibal, Missouri and died April 21, 1910 in Redding, Connecticut.
Haley’s Comet greeted his birth and his death.

He is buried in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery. I visited his grave.

In today’s dollars, Twain’s estate was worth $12 million.

William McKinley, 25th President of the United States (1897 until his 1901 assassination), was born in Niles, Ohio but eventually began his law career in Canton.

Theodore Roosevelt became President after McKinley’s death.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Jane Snow, probably the best food writer in BJ history, and husband Tony Gawaguchi are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary today.

Jane describes Tony as “the man who turned a cynic like me into a believer in true love.”
They were married in Vegas. Tony ordered it up via the Internet.
Tony was born in Japan. Jane was born in Liverpool, Ohio, across the Ohio River from West Virginia.
Jane’s research for a sushi story brought her to Tony’s restaurant.
Tony’s dad owned an American restaurant in Japan right outside the gate of the Air Force Base where Jane’s dad was stationed in World War II.
A sign Tony hung in their bedroom reads: “Forever. For Always. And No Matter What.”
You can check out Jane’s recipes by clicking on the blue

“A typewriter means more to a newspaper than an adding machine”

- - John S. Knight

Jack Knight inherited the Akron Beacon Journal from his father, C.L. Knight, in 1933, at the depth of the Great Depression.

There was no money to meet the payroll. Employees received tokens they could take to local merchants who would accept them as IOU’s.

When he died in 1981 at the age of 86, Jack Knight had built a newspaper empire that was then the nation’s largest in terms of circulation. He was worth more than $400 million.

When JSK took his company public in 1969, he told stock analysts:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I do not intend to become your prisoner.”

25 years after his death, Wall Street got its revenge in 1974. An obscure money manager in Florida, trying to meet a profit target for his wealthy investors, forced the sale of the company. That was a sad day in American newspaper history.

JSK’s motto: “Get the truth and print it.”

In 1968, the year he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for his opposition to the Vietnam war and for his support of the free speech rights of dissenters on American campuses, his Detroit Free Press and Charlotte Observer also won Pulitzers, making Knight Newspapers the first publisher in history to win three in the same year.

The BJ often helped employees finance home and car loans. That came from the top.

Bill Catalona caddied at Akron area golf courses for JSK. Catalona was accepted to medical school but had no money to pay his tuition, JSK gave him the first John S. Knight scholarship. Dr. Catalona practiced in Muscatine, Iowa. They were friends for life.
Ken Krause provided Gene's gems. Reporter Clark Hoyt provided information used for this article.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Costs spiral, ESPN dumps 100 on-air talents

ESPN committed itself to billions of dollars for the right to cover college and professional sports.

100 “on-air talent” will get the axe to help pay for it.

The Big 10 package with ESPN was for $1 billion over 10 years. The Big 10 replacement deal with ESPN and Fox is for $2.64 billion over six years.

ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC will ante $39.6 billion over 9 years for NFL games.

Advertisers balk at escalating prices for commercials. ESPN has lost seven million subscribers in two years.

The math has stopped working.

There’s no free lunch. For 100 ESPN on-air talent, this runaway train has eaten their lunch . . . and breakfast and dinner and rent.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Employees at the BJ in 1979

Monday, April 24, 2017

John with Rebecca after his latest surgery

Dunphy surgery went well

Former BJ State Desk reporter John Dunphy, who has fended off esophageal cancer for years, had surgery Tuesday for his prostate cancer.

John's wife, Rebecca Allen, reported:

“Dunphy is out of surgery. Dr. Gill said everything went fine with no complications.
“John is awake. The worst is over. Let the healing begin.”
The surgery was at Keck Medical Center at USC where John had his esophageal cancer surgery in 2013.

John and wife of 9 years Rebecca Allen live in Lakewood.

John’s siblings are Steve Dunphy, who lives in Seattle; Harry Dunphy; sister Sister Patricia Dunphy; Maureen Dunphy Welling; Paul Dunphy; Peter Dunphy; Dennis Dunphy; and Christine Dunphy Barnett.  

John is contributing editor at Southland Golf and a former reporter for the Orange County Register in California. John is a Cincinnati Xavier University graduate from New York City.
Rebecca is deputy Features Editor at the OC Register.

At Ol’ Blue Walls, with the late Pat Englehart cracking the whip, John was a key reporter in the BJ’s coverage of the 1970 Kent State killings by the National Guard that brought the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize.

The Orange County Register's Grand Avenue building where John roamed the newsroom for years was swapped for quarters in Anaheim last week.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Will ring of lies end in Oval Office exit?

New York Times editorial writer Charles M. Blow wrote a scathing indictment of President Trump as a liar, liar, pants on fire x 1 million.

And got into FBI Director James Comey’s role in jimmying Hillary Clinton's election chances while protecting Donald Trump during the campaign.

It you want to read the frightening opinion piece which warns of another Watergate-like Presidential exit, click on the blue

Janice Grant Strode, who was a BJ Circulation secretary for 25 years, passed away Tuesday, April 18.

Janice was born in Mexico, a town in Missouri, but the family moved to Akron when she was 2 years old.

I don’t know the years that Janice worked at Ol’ Blue Walls but she’s in the 1981 employee directory that Advertising Makeup retiree Mike Williams provided, the 1978 and 1979 BJ Christmas promos and in the 1979 and 1998 employee directories that Ken Krause has.

BJ Advertising Art retiree Mike Williams remembers:

“Jan also typed and did the Girl Friday thing in the Ad Art department in 1976? and a few years after that.

“She was kind and welcoming to me when I spelled Gary Pembrook there for two years.

“Here's a Creative Services Christmas message from the Nov-Dec 1977 Tower Topics issue. She's peeking over my right shoulder.

A year later, Mike added:

“In the next year's Christmas message (December 1978) she got the best seat of the group.

Janice's cousin, Andale Gross, confirmed that Janice worked in Circulation.
Janice’s obituary:

Janice M. Grant Strode

Janice M. Grant Strode, 74, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Janice was born in Mexico, Missouri in 1942 to Raymond and Gladys Grant but moved to Akron, Ohio when she was only two years old. Janice retired from the Akron Beacon Journal as a secretary after 25 years of service; she was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to all her family and friends; she will be greatly missed.

Janice was preceded in death by her father, Raymond Grant; mother, Gladys Grant; brother, Clarence Grant; sister, Geraldine Woodson; and nephews, Michael A. Grant and Garland Marshall.

She leaves to celebrate a life well lived: her beloved husband of 51 years, Emmitt Strode Jr.; son, Shawn (Dierdre) Strode; daughter, Samara Strode of Columbus, Ohio; granddaughters, Makayla Strode of Columbus, Ohio, Carmalita and Brianna Bradley; grandsons, Sterling Powell and Excell Bradley; great-grandchildren, Sterling Jr. and JaBraylon Powell; brothers, Donald (Dione) Grant and Milton Grant; sister, Carol (Lonnie) Hubbard; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and close friends.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Calling hours are from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the service will begin at 12 p.m. at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 442 Bell Street, Akron, OH 44307. Pastor Jack Streeter officiating, Interment at Greenlawn Cemetery, 2580 Romig Road, Akron, OH 44320. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The American Heart Association at 3505 Embassy Pkwy. Suite 100, Akron, OH 44333. Procession will form and condolences may be sent to 896 Valdes Ave., Akron, OH 44320.

Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Unhappy day about Erin Moran

Erin Marie Moran, the Joanie who loved Chachi on the “Happy Days” TV series (1947-1984), is dead at age 56.

Erin Moran
Marion Ross and Tom Bosley played her parents. Ronnie Howard played her brother, Richie.

The #1 draw on the series was Henry Winkler as the cool and hip The Fonz.

Anson Williams played Potsie, Don Most played Ralph Malph, Pat Morita played Arnold, Penny Marshall was Laverne, Cindy Williams played Shirley, Robin Williams, who died in 2014, played Mork for 2 episodes before getting his own series.

Moran and Scott Baio reprieved their characters in the short-lived spinoff, "Joanie Loves Chachi.” Other "Happy Days" spin-offs were "Laverne & Shirley" and "Mork & Mindy."

Erin has been married to Steven Fleischmann since 1993, after divorcing Rocky Ferguson, her husband since 1987.

Bosley died in 2010, Al Molinaro (Al, who replaced Morita as the owner of the diner, the setting for many of the episodes) in 2015 and producer Garry Marshall in 2016.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Journey from Copley to ‘Fargo’

Carrie Coon in 'Fargo'
Carrie Coon, who plays Gloria Burgle, the recently divorced chief of the Eden Valley Police in FX’s “Fargo” series, is a 1999 Copley High graduate.

“Fargo,” in its third season, airs on FX at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.

Her parents, John and Paula Cook, still live in Copley. She has a sister and three brothers.

Carrie met her husband, playwright-actor Tracy Letts, while performing in Chicago.

To read the story by PD and former BJ pop culture critic Mark Dawidziak, click on


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

O’Reilly joins Ailes as Fox News exile

Bill O'Reilly, you're out!
Primetime host Bill O’Reilly has been forced out by Fox News after two decades with the cable channel.

It cost Rupert Murdoch’s company $13 million to settle sexual harassment allegations against him.

The departure comes less than three weeks after The New York Times revealed how Fox News and 21st Century Fox repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly even as sexual allegations piled up.

O’Reilly’s ouster came after more than 50 advertisers dropped his show and women’s rights groups called for his ouster. Women inside the company were outraged by the stonewalling.

Last summer a sexual harassment scandal forced the ouster of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

Sure looks like a despicable boys will be boys pattern at Fox News.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Retired Atlanta editorial giant Tom Teepen passes away

Tom Teepen, 82, retired Cox columnist and editorial page editor of The Atlanta Constitution, died Sunday.

He was married to his second wife, Sandy Teepen, for more than 30 years. He had been battling various illnesses since a kidney transplant 10 years ago.

Tom Teepen
When he was 7, Tom would write stories on paper and hand them out to people because he wanted to be a newspaperman.

The Ohio University grad began his career with the Dayton Daily News (1958-82) and with the Constitution and Cox Newspapers columnist (1982-2000). 
He completed a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in 1967, focusing on African studies.

Marilyn Geewax, a former BJ business reporter who was at the Constitution before becoming a National Public Radio business analyst living in Washington, said “I always thought of him as a Renaissance beatnik.”

Saturday, April 15, 2017

At the Beacon Journal you could tell what kind of a day Tom Moore was having when he was the newsroom makeup man by counting the number of “Goddammits.”

Well, I’m guessing that, on his wedding anniversary on Friday, April 14, Tom changed it to “Hot, damn, we made it to 66!”

Daughter Amy Moore saw it from a different viewpoint: “How blessed and lucky am I to have amazing parents that are celebrating 66 years of marriage!!!!”

Tom and Minnesotan Dot were married in the naval communications chapel in Washington, D.C. Tom was in the Air Force at Bolling Air Force Base in D.C. and editor of the base newspaper.

Tom's 41-year newspaper career was on the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Zanesville News (now defunct), Lorain Journal, Columbus Citizen-Columbus Citizen Journal (both defunct) and the BJ. Plus four years part-time in the Ohio State Patrol headquarters in Columbus, editing the patrol's magazine,The Flying Wheel.

After his retirement from Ol’ Blue Walls, Tom didn’t go off the rails. He went on them, as a conductor for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Dot often made treats for the passengers that she handed to Tom for special delivery.

Beginning in 2004, Tom headed for Fort Myers, Florida in October to publish a daily newspaper for the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series for older players run by former BJ sports editor Tom Giffen, who took that show to Fort Myers three decades ago.

Richmond, Virginia native Tom was adopted by Spotswood and Virgina Moore in Tazewell, Virginia.

Tom and Dot have four children, including three daughters who were copygirls at the BJ.

That would be Amy Moore; Caroline Jean Krack, who lives in Minnesota and retired as a teacher's aide; Katherine Ann Moore, who lives in Cuyahoga Falls, retiring from the Environmental Protection Agency after 34 years; and a son also named Tom, who is married to Sabrina Naylor Moore.
Maybe 93-year-old Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff will show up and serenade Tom with “The Anniversary Waltz.” Or “Sentimental Journey,” which made Doris famous, or "Pillow Talk," which brought her an Oscar nomination.  

Doris sang to Tom in 1949. Well, to be clearer, and all the other new Air Force members at the amphitheater.

Maybe you know her better as Doris Day.

Goddammit, Tom, you sure know how to pick the ladies for a lifetime or for a night of superior singing!

If you want to congratulate Tom, his phone number is (330) 762-6669. If you’re too lazy to use your Smartphone, he has a Facebook page.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Our amazing winter in Disneyland for adults
6 months for Paula in her Florida home, 4 months for John between WVU football games.
 To enlarge photos, change the 100% on your computer to 150% or more.

To enlarge any photo, just click on it; then click top left arrow to get to rest of photos

John played 80 rounds in 90 days; Paula took up golf for first time ever

There's free golf, outdoor live music & dancing, softball, pickleball, tennis every day

Paula's family visited at her house. Sister Janet, brothers Tom and Raymond came from Ohio.

John had reunions with fellow Mountaineers, former BJ printer's widow, former Monongah, WV neighbors

But, as Dorothy said, "There's no place like home" ... as long as it isn't winter!

Former 1970s BJ State Desk reporter Cathy Robinson Strong has taught journalism in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate for three years.

When she’s not a journalism lecturer at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand, where she’s lived for about three decades, Cathy flies to America regularly to visit family and friends, including her sister, Janet Mullins, in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Cathy has given journalism lectures in Japan and Taiwan, water-skiied and kayaked and flown to Washington, D.C. to accept first prize in the Great Ideas For Teachers competition at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2013. 

She flew to Boston to jump in a hot tub with friend Pam McCarthy, retired North Canton Hoover High teacher that she hadn’t seen in 35 years. 

So it seems logical that Cathy is in Saigon at a cooking class for Vietnamese cuisine. She learned how to whip up Dragon-fried egg cake, cabbage parcel soup and other delicacies.

At least Cathy will escape the earthquakes that hit New Zealand about 15,000 times a year! Except for 100 to 150 quakes you can feel, you need a seimograph to record them.

Obviously, most aren’t at the level of the San Francisco earthquake. But Paula and I did see a lot of damage in Christchurch when we visited New Zealand.