I cannot imagine how my life would have turned out had it not been for The Temple News. But I do know this: It would have been significantly – if not entirely – different had I not joined the staff my first day at Temple in September 1974.
I exaggerate not when I tell you my time at The Temple News has been responsible for virtually every facet of my life – professional and personal – since I left the paper at the end of my term as editor-in-chief in the fall of 1977.
Since then, I have held five full-time jobs (three in journalism, one in public relations and one in the music industry), and each can be directly attributed to my TTN tenure. All came about either through reporting and writing experience I received at the paper or the relationships – with folks at The Temple News or in the world at large – that developed as a result of being on staff.
But as I said, even my personal life bears the stamp of The Temple News.
Today, more than 30 years after I left Temple, I count among my closest friends guys I met – and shared metaphorical foxholes with – at The Temple News. And I certainly would not have the family I’ve been blessed with (a wife and two daughters, 22 and 17) had it not been for the paper.
My first full-time writing job was music columnist for the late, lamented Philadelphia Journal. The Journal’s entertainment editor, Jody Kolodzey, whom I’d worked and been friends with at TTN, recruited me. While at the Journal, I met staffer Randy Alexander, who today is one of Philadelphia’s leading entertainment and lifestyle publicists.
One night in February 1982, Randy introduced me to a girl he’d known since high school. This December, she and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary.
The core tenet of my personal belief system is that everything happens for a reason. It was no coincidence that my dad was a sportswriter and sports editor for the Temple News in the 1930s and that I grew up hearing his stories of working at the paper. By the time I was 14 or 15, I knew I’d go to Temple and write for the student-run newspaper.
My gratitude for the paper is such that if I ever become wealthy (doubtful, given my profession and advanced age) I will endow The Temple News with as much money as I can. But mere money can never repay the debt I owe TTN.
While I was there, The Temple News was my classroom, my fraternity – it was pretty much my life. Today, it is a most cherished part of my past – and my present.