Clipped From The Baytown Sun

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 - Features^ Up Life For Of Job Sporadically -...
Features^ Up Life For Of Job Sporadically - Dying At 45, Lived To Be 81 By AL MEUNGER The first time I saw him, he shuffled into our broom closet of a city room in the old Austin Dispatch, a plump, rumpled figure with his wide-brimmed hat shoved back from a placid face, round and pink as a peach. A blackened corncob pipe was clenched firmly in his gums. He didn't like to wear his dentures. One hand tenderly massaged his diaphragm "I'm dying," he announced softly. He sat down and began pecking out an editorial. I was destined over the next few years to hear his daily proclamation of imminent death. At the time he was probably in his mid-forties, a fairly senile age from the perspective of my cub re- porterhood. When they buried Edmunds Travis a couple of weeks ago in Austin, he was 81. Although he was my first editor, the active newspaper career of Edmunds Travis was already several years behind him before I ever heard of him. His strident, uninhibited voice had been an electrifying influence in Texas politics in a lusty, hard-drinking era when the names of Jim Ferguson and Joe Bailey were of front page eminence. On the Dispatch Ed had the title of editor but all he did was write editorials which he chronically pecked out late while I tried to placate an agonized pressroom foreman with one eye on the clock and the other on his overtime chart. When I became managing editor, my Saturday job started at 7 a.m. and finished at a.m. Sunday. Momentarily concerned over my IWwur stretch, once Ed volunteered take over the early edition. I came down about noon to find stranger in my chair. "You the night man?," he inquired. "Who're you?" I came in this morning and asked for a job. Some old at the desk asked if I'd ever edited a newspaper and I said yeah. He hired me and left." After the rather grotesque Saturday edition hit the streets, the drifter collected pay and disappeared, probably on the rods of the same freight train that had brought him that morning. From then on I edited both editions. Ed never made his living from the Dispatch. For generations he was a statehouse character and became the dean lobbyists, a picturesque anachronism in his jaunty bowler hat, his flowing white mane and his omnipresent boutonniere. There was no steady job me at first on the penurious sheet where the anaemic typewriter ribbons were worn to tatters and we even had to chopped-up old press proof runs for copy paper. But Ed solved that problem. He turned his salary over me. Letter To The Editor Editor, The Sun Dear Sir: uation and immediately arranged to have a walkway

Clipped from
  1. The Baytown Sun,
  2. 20 Oct 1971, Wed,
  3. Page 4

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