Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A treasured gift

Sorry I haven't written for a couple of days. Haven't felt too well. Got the crappy spring crud.

Tonight, Jenn brought home a box that turned out to be a wedding present from a friend that is a nationally-known columnist and writer. Included in the box were a piece of pottery and a book inscribed to me entitled "Gatlinburg and The Great Smokies."

The book is a collection of columns originally filed by Ernie Pyle for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain (I work for its current incarnation, E.W. Scripps) in the fall of 1940, written during his visit to Gatlinburg and LeConte. It was collected in 1951 by The Mountain Press.

What a treasure. As you may know, Ernie is one of my heroes. My greatest source of pride about working for Scripps is being able to say I am employed by the same company for which Ernie Pyle once worked. Of course, I'm in the Rookie League and he was a major-league star. Jenn and I visited Ernie's grave at the Punchbowl in Honolulu when we were in Hawaii last October.

The book's forward says: "They (the columns) are good reading -- by one of the truly great writers of our time. They are about things close to the heart of all who love the Smokies. They are simple (as is all great writing) sincere and touched by a quaint and whimsical humor.

"I wish to thank Loye W. Miller, Editor of the Knoxville (Tennessee) News-Sentinel, and Bert Vincent, Strolling Reporter, for their help and cooperation in re-printing these columns."

It is signed C.C. Callaway, Gatlinburg, Tenn., 1951.

This thoughtful gift will be treasured as long as I roam this earth.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is one very cool gift! I used to have an eBay business, and one of the items I sold (I bought a few of them when they were issued) was the special Ernie Pyle GI Joe.

If you don't have one, you should try and find one. Artistically, it was an accurate representation of him, and the bio included was very good.

I cannot tell you how many people ask me, "Who was Ernie Pyle?" I enjoy being able to tell them.

Great post!
Atlanta, Ga.

9:23 AM  

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