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Big Chuck

January 4, 2010

I Was Just Thinking: 'Big Chuck' brings experiences, ideas from behind mic to new column gig


Hey, wait a minute. I’m a radio guy! When I first received an invitation to join The Daily Star as a columnist, I had to stop and think about it.

I mean, for two decades now, I have started my mornings off by putting on a pair of headphones and cueing up an old country music song. And now comes the bimonthly ritual of putting on a green visor and some sleeve garters and licking the end of an old No. 2 pencil to start scratching down my thoughts for readers instead of listeners at an old oaken desk in a dark warren somewhere at The Daily Star.

I read The Daily Star, sure. Doesn’t everybody? But to work there? Well, I am definitely not giving up my regular WDOS radio gig, but you will start seeing my column frequently within these pages. And that will be a challenging mid-to-late-life adventure that I am certainly looking forward to.

In 1959, our teacher took my whole class of youngsters on a field trip to our local paper, The Sidney (N.Y.) Record- Enterprise (now the Tri-Town News).

It was dark, musty, kind of scary and smelly. Ol’ John McLaughlin (publisher) remained crisp as a dollar bill throughout the tour of the work stations and printing rooms of the old paper. He reminded us to always “check the facts … and then check them again,” as he orated to us about the miracle of American journalism.

The little Tri-Town News was the only newspaper that I had ever been inside of, and that was 50 years ago. But still, I do have vivid images of what the inside of a paper should look like.

From the 1940 film “His Girl Friday” comes the image of the old roll-top desks lining crowded corridors. Reporters darted in and out of their offices hollering at each other with great urgency.

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