Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Building fire-safe bridges

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013 12:00 am

Jim Turner, who died last week, was a happy man with many talents and a long resume.

He was a prolific poet, a ham radio operator, a book store owner, a real estate agent. He was a well-regarded reporter at the Lodi News-Sentinel early in my father’s tenure here.

I was very young when Jim worked at the News-Sentinel, and I always liked him. As a high school and college student, he encouraged me. As a young adult, I discussed buying my first house with Jim.

But Jim was — let me choose my words here — unconventional.

When he died, his wife Lee came in with his obituary and said Jim wrote it himself. It wasn’t an obituary at all. It was a poem, a beautiful reflection on his childhood and his view of the here-after.

I thought to myself: This is vintage Jim Turner. I can’t run an obit without a date of death or the last name of the deceased.

I solved the challenge of reporting Jim’s passing by writing his obit myself — straight, just the simple facts. Then I asked Lauren Nelson to find a place in today’s Lodi Living section for his poem, which I titled “Obituary.” I hope Jim would approve and that you will enjoy it.

As I said, Jim was unconventional. My father is not. Jim was a poet. Dad is a businessman.

Back when they worked together, I sensed tension growing between them as Jim took on more responsibility in the news department. I never knew the details, but I knew that Jim’s leaving the paper was not easy for either of them.

When reporter Sara Jane Pohlman interviewed Jim in 2012, he recounted his resignation in gentlemanly fashion: “Fred Weybret saw something in me that wasn’t there and made me managing editor. I hate dealing with people — the hiring, the firing, the chastising, the coddling. It’s just not my mug of coffee. After a year ... I had to go.”

After he left, Dad always spoke well of Jim. He loved to patronize his bookstore, and I heard them trade stories and fond greetings more than once.

What I learned from the incident was how grown men work together and conduct a friendship while living in a small town.

They taught me that finding the right words keeps friends and builds communities.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 9 hours ago by Steve Schmidt.

article: Letter: Vote no on giving taxpayer mone…

Sure there are leftist extremists but, if they are living in Syria, they certainly are keeping their heads down.

More...

Posted 10 hours ago by M. Doyle.

article: General Mills announces ‘preliminary de…

This closure has nothing to do with wages, kevin. Read the article. People aren't eating as much cereal. Food trends have shifted the de…

More...

Posted 11 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: General Mills announces ‘preliminary de…

Has nothing to do with labor or minimum wage General Mills earned over 2.5 billion in profits last year and paid out shareholders to the tu…

More...

Posted 12 hours ago by trista aquino.

article: Letter: Evil is always present

Oh no no the hostages I was talking about were their translators, assistants, the guy working with the 3rd man w/that humanitarian group an…

More...

Posted 13 hours ago by Kevin Paglia.

article: Letter: Vote no on giving taxpayer mone…

IF America truly wants to take the power away from the Middle East terrorists then we HAVE to hit them where it hurts. Develop non-oil dep…

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists