“Old Bill” Suggests—
There is not a man on the staff of this paper who does not wish to say something about his personal sorrow at the passing of Henry Justin Smith. It takes recollection of the sense of proportion which he would have preferred, to keep from extending the stories through every page and feature.
Kiping wrote of a similar ascetic:
“Clean, simple, valiant, well beloved,
Flawless to faith and fame,
Whom neither ease nor honors moved
An hair’s breadth from his aim.
“Yet from his life a new life springs
Through all the hosts to come,
And glory is the least of things
That follow this man home.”
With ironic whimsicality belied by his constant appreciation of good news writing he commented once, after the final edition had gone to press, that in newspaper work your heart’s blood of today wrapped up some fellow’s lunch tomorrow. The words change, it is true; the stories follow the fluctuating current of events. But his own spirit will not end.
When news handling shows clear fairness, decently courteous expression and unflinching penetration of wrong, not merely on one paper but by a hundred men on a score of papers, it will be an echo that, unlike other echoes, grows trumpetwise as the trumpets die away.
ROYAL F. MUNGER.