Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One Photo, Two Different Men

This is starting to sound like piling on, but the red faces in The Roanoke Times newsroom are lighting up the sky again. This a.m., we have two lovely examples of sleeping on the copy desk.

First--and least--there's the sports headline "Wake's Skinner quietes his doubters," which my wife said, "must be the British spelling" of "quiets." (This one also made it onto The Times' Web site.)

A bit more gravely--so to speak--are the death notices (one a news story, one a paid obituary) of old time bluegrass musician Bill Reid (1921-2009, the news story) and Dr. William M. Reed (1950-2009), which carried the same photograph. Dr. Reed is referred to as "Mike" in the obit. Judging from the hairstyle in the photo, my guess would be the photo is of Reed, since it looks to have been shot in the 1970s. But guessing is problematic here, so we'll wait for the correction. In any case, it's not one of them. Of course, there's the additional identifier in the spelling of their names: Reed and Reid.

Reed, who lived in Radford, was an accomplished educator, beginning professionally as a high school English teacher and moving into teaching and research at Virginia Tech. He became a professor at West Virginia University and at New York University. He wrote the book Kelley Barracks about his experiences in Europe while in the Army. He was twice a Fulbright scholar.

Reid, on the other hand, was one of 230 bluegrass musicians recognized in 2001 to be among the first generation of the genre by the International Bluegrass Association. He was also a noted radio disc jockey in the region.

Very different men. Same photo.


  1. When I saw those obituaries in the paper, I figured you wouldn't miss that error. How could anybody miss it? Oh, right—somebody at the RT obviously did.

    As for the spelling error, there was a letter in today's opinion page about errors in recent RT headlines. Others are apparently noticing, too.

  2. The first generation of the genre by the people

  3. Singnals3: Don't think "the people" (reference, I guess, the citizen journalist genre) had much to do with this.