Not that it will matter to most book/daddy readers ...

... but Neal Shine at The Detroit Free Press was the man who first hired me at a newspaper. I had absolutely no plans or desire to be a journalist, wanted to be a pure academic scholar-teacher but I needed to pay for my education at the University of Detroit (a private, Jesuit school). So when somebody at a pot party told me about a night-shift, research assistant's job at the Free Press library, I applied for it. Son of a streetcar conductor, an Irish Catholic and an old-school city newspaperman, Shine was the managing editor at the time. I still remember him laughing jovially during my nervous job interview when he saw that my resume was so sparse, I'd included my elementary school days at St. Agatha's on it.

He hired me, I was the first and only male in the paper's "morgue." And while there, I wrote my first published book reviews. Years later, when I walked away from any academic career in the '80s, all those hours spent at night in the Free Press files -- all those hours I hated at the time -- helped me get my first professional jobs writing.

Neal died Tuesday. He was 76.

April 5, 2007 9:03 AM |



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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on April 5, 2007 9:03 AM.

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