We don't have to say goodbye to retiring journalists Dick Puhr and Frank Haight.
Twenty years ago, life at The Examiner was much different than it is now. Our technology advancement was limited to having a vending machine installed, and putting the paper together was a manual process.
Looking back on those days I realize how much simpler the world of computers has made our work lives, but it was also a time that we all connected on a much deeper level.
Because the mornings were spent pasting and cutting each individual story, headline and picture, the editors and “the back shop” were side-by-side scrambling on deadline to get the paper put together.
Those were the days of “The Dick and Frank Show,” as I liked to call it, with Dick Puhr as sports editor and Frank Haight, as news editor – they were at the helm of the daily chaos we loved to call “putting the paper to bed.”
We held a retirement reception for the two of them on Thursday after nearly 50 years of working at The Examiner. My mind ventured back to those days when they spent many hours standing at my side, sometimes telling me jokes, sometimes telling me to hurry.
Listening to them talk about their passion for the newspaper made me realize why I’m still here 28 years later. They say a “true” newspaper employee has ink in their blood that stains their heart and soul so that it becomes a way of life. I hope to follow in Dick and Frank’s footsteps, and 20 years from now I can tell you about the wonderful retirement party The Examiner held for me.
There are so many qualities about these men that kept the paper alive with their glow of commitment, loyalty and a determination to bring readers the news.
Working together for all those years, everyone knows that Dick and Frank are good friends who could count on each other, even though they had their differences.
Dick is an avid KU fan and won’t let anyone forget it. Frank, an MU fan, quietly enjoys his team. Frank writes the good news. Depending on what team Dick is covering it could be good or bad – and he’s known to hold nothing back.
When you come to work you’ll know Dick is in the building as he’ll yell “burglar” or turn the lights out in your department, even while you’re working. You won’t know that Frank is even in the building because his eyes are glued to the computer screen with earphones plugged into his ears.
But a common bond – the passion for print – held this friendship together for 50 years.
Thank goodness the retirement party didn’t have to be a sad goodbye as they are both going to continue writing for the paper. I won’t worry yet that I won’t be able to hear Dick yell “Frank” across the newsroom or see Frank taking his afternoon stroll around the Square. As long as I can still hear Dick banging on his manual typewriter and see Frank, deep in thought, as he rubs his hands together – searching for the next word.
There will not be any remakes for The Dick and Frank Show as no one could ever replace these two icons at The Examiner.