Friday, May 30, 2008

A Legend Retires

On a cool fall night in 1994, I paid a scalper's price to witness my high school football team win a state championship.

In the three deep crowd on the chain link fence, I noticed a man with cameras standing among the students, the scouts and the alumni.

I'd seen him many times before. From my place on the field. From the crowd in the stands. Decades passed and there was always that man with those cameras twined all around his body - standing right there.

October 1971: Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Fla. John Lennon releases “Imagine.” “Jesus Christ Superstar” premieres in New York City. President Nixon nominates William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell to the Supreme Court.

And John Mercer joins the staff of The Moultrie Observer.

Fresh out of the Air Force, where he developed reconnaisance photographs, Mercer took the job as the newspaper’s photographer, and he’s happily retained that title ever since.

Today is his last day of full-time employment here. He has worked for the newspaper for almost one-third of its 114 years.

Real newspapermen are rare these days. Read the whole thing. It's worth it.

1 comment:

MTHEORY said...

Yes, they're rare. And they're why people pick up the newspaper to begin with. An if you ever want to write for a newspaper, you need to know that.

Thanks for noticing.