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Post Remembering Randy Black, Journalist
Created by John Eipper on 04/06/19 3:12 AM

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Remembering Randy Black, Journalist (David Duggan, USA, 04/06/19 3:12 am)

Let me add my voice to the chorus of hosannas in lament of the passing of WAISer-extraordinaire, Randy Black.

I met Randy only once, at WAIS Adrian 2013, when we both gave presentations, I on Chicago politics and he on his life as a photojournalist (an earlier career for me as well). He brought actual copies of the Dallas papers the late November day that Kennedy was shot, just an hour after meeting Randy at his Fort Worth high school. The picture of the two of them should be part of the memorable WAIS archives.

At the forum, Randy told of his experience in being completely accurate. Reporting on one story with unsavory antecedents (he had the graveyard shift early in his career), he told of returning to the scene to find out if the protagonist's surname was spelled "Smith" or "Smithe." I should have taken his penchant for accuracy to heart as he later called me out for mis-identifying the northern Chicago suburb where sits New Trier High School (alma mater of Charlton Heston and Ann-Margret, among others) as Wilmette. He properly said that it is in Winnetka (though just across the street from Wilmette, whence come most of its students), which he recalled from having spent a summer there.

One other point of tangency between the two of us was golf, and Randy had I believe a partial ride to U Oklahoma. We differed on whether Tom Watson was a worthy captain of the US Ryder Cup team (2014), but agreed that Ben Hogan was likely the best ever. Randy told a story about his stepfather, with whom he had a tenuous relationship, rewarding him for some accomplishment with nine holes with the great Hogan. "Nice swing, Kid," Hogan told Randy. It doesn't get any better than that.

As fellow Episcopalians, Randy and I lamented the direction of the church in that pre-Obergefell era, and I hope that the church he attended ministered to his family and him during his transmission to the life of the world to come.

Randy Black: you will be missed. RIP.

JE comments:  I recall Randy's words well:  whatever you do as a journalist, make sure you spell the names right.

Randy saw JFK on that infamous day in November, 1963.  Here's his post on the 50th anniversary of the assassination.  It's an all-time WAIS Classic:


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