Christina and I arrive at the toney Country Club of Virginia in our 1998 GMC pickup truck. The valet parking boys loved the chariot.^
Christina, looking positively luminous, with the old man ("Bond, James Bond") that she dressed nice.^
Editor and fellow inductee Ed Jones of the Fredricksburg Freelance Star signs my acceptance remarks. I don't normally collect autographs, but these were some worthy people.^
My old Business Journal pals John Montgomery (left) and Jim Lindsey showed up and I was pretty dang pleased about that.^
Mark Lawrence and Eric Earnhart made an appearance at the induction--a nice surprise from a couple of good guys.^
The class of 2010 (from left) Bob Jones, Ernie Gates (for Bea Kopp), Steven Soldinger (for his dad Harold), me, Bob Lee of WDBJ7, and Ed Jones. I'm accepting all that hardware here (below).^
The induction ceremony for the 2010 class of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame was simply splendid tonight. I was taken in with a class that has ... well ... class. Some real winners here and I think I was most impressed with the two who couldn't make it because they had died.
Steven Soldinger told us about his dad, who had worked with that whole nutty group of Warner Brothers cartoonists in the 1930s and 1940s before moving to the east coast of Virginia just as TV was becoming an issue. He virtually invented TV news in Norfolk at WTAR and his list of "firsts" was impressive.
Bea Kopp was a tiny photographer for newspapers in Richmond beginning in 1940 and covering the big stories of her day as one of the few working women news photographers in the state. Her story was told to us by Newport News editor Ernie Gates, who knew and obviously admired.
Ed Jones, a longtime editor of the Fredricksburg paper, spoke eloquently of the continued need for journalists and photographer Bob Jones talked of finishing one important career and beginning another while WDBJ's Bob Lee reminisced about his days in television.
I don't believe that in all my 46 years in the business that I've ever felt as humble as I did tonight and as grateful for a career that was, in effect, handed to a poor kid with no education because a copy boy had been promoted the newsroom the day before I showed up, hat in hand, looking for a job.