Louisville Magazine

NOV 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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34 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.18 something else – and I couldn't wake him up. He was dead," Darryl said. Going to college was a sideline to my work at the newspaper. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I was due at the paper by 2 p.m., and work was pretty solid until about 9. By then, most of the day's obits were written, and it was time for supper when the first edition went to press at about 8:45. Until I got off at 11, I would do my homework. It was good discipline. e fact that I had a job at the Courier-Journal was such sheer joy that I didn't let the hard work bother me. In fact, I still say that even though I never took a journalism course after high school, I majored in "Courier- Journalism." Only months before I arrived, the staff had moved into a totally remodeled newsroom, the first major overhaul since the building at Sixth Street and Broadway opened in 1948. It became my second home. I worked in that building for 43 years, longer than the time in any home By about 5 in the afternoon, the newsroom's roar was deafening. The combination of manual typewriters and ringing telephones required concentration skills that I cannot even imagine anymore. sounded confused as I explained why I was calling. "We don't know anything about it," he responded, choking back tears. Clearly the Defense Department had failed to do its duty if I was the messenger. Journalists have to toughen up, and I did. On anksgiving 1969, I was writing obituaries when a report arrived of the death by starvation of a nine-year- old boy who lived on Eddy Alley in west Louisville. Robert Ellis' tragic story led to major efforts to fight hunger and, in time, to the creation of the Dare to Care Food Bank. In later years I would be sent to other local calamities, as when, in November 1974, a house on South 22nd Street caught fire and three small children burned to death. Two others survived. I went with another reporter to interview them. eir home was in ruins and they huddled in the house of a next-door neighbor. Nine-year-old Darryl Knuckles remembered trying to wake his brothers, including four-year-old Elvin. "Something fell on Elvin – a lamp and Runyon (left) and associate editor Warren Buckler (right) review the farewell editorial by Barry Bingham Jr. (center) in 1986. "September 14th," he answered. I swallowed hard. "I'm really sorry," I said. "You're number one." He simply said, "anks." During the war, I would be handed AP stories listing Kentucky and southern Indiana military deaths. Generally we called the local funeral homes, which supplied information for death notices. But it was not always so with these young military victims. Sometimes days, or weeks, would pass before bodies were returned home. But my editors expected us to confirm that the AP reports were accurate. Sometimes I called the parents. One night, I placed a call to somewhere in rural Kentucky. A man answered and

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