Saluting George

No one loved newspapers more than George Flynn, my old friend who departed this earthly life 12 days ago. As a kid just out of high school, George joined The Miami Herald in the 1950s as a copy boy. Safe to say that no one has ever been happier or more at home in the chaotic environment of the newsroom of a major daily. George never turned down an assignment, whether it was fetching coffee or changing ribbons on typewriters and wire-service machines, at which he excelled.

His obituary notes that he toiled among friends who were Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters and columnists, but it was Flynn who earned a standing ovation when he took care of a blown fuse that had brought the newsroom to a halt just before deadline.

Working through the ranks, the cheerful-natured Flynn devoted 17 years to The Herald, serving as a bureau chief, Action Line editor, general assignment reporter and Fort Lauderdale bureau city editor. He loved this newspaper, but eager to grow further, he earned his BA at the University of Miami while working full-time, then went on to earn his master’s at Florida Atlantic University in 1973. He taught journalism courses at Texas A&M University, then earned a PhD at North Texas State. George taught for five years at Arizona State, then moved to California State at Fresno, where he taught for 16 years until his retirement. His students adored him.

So many positive adjectives come to mind when I think of George — brilliant, imaginative, clever, hard working, kind, funny — all of that and more. A good reporter sees a story in everyone. George never stopped interviewing and writing. He continued to contribute human interest stories to the Williamson County Sun near his Georgetown, Texas, home, until  failing health forced him to stop.

Here’s a sad -30- for a cherished friend.

Note to readers: I try to write a fresh blog every day, but it has become clear that other demands on my time will make this impossible. Please be patient when I miss a day, and know that another one is coming soon. The Today’s Word feature will change, also, showing up less frequently but expanding its content beyond grammar and punctuation issues. Sincere thanks for reading. If you enjoy my blogs, please tell your friends.

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