Wednesday August 16, 2006 7:21 PM
Manders, former PDN and Sequim Gazette editor
Opinion: Saying goodbye to one of our own
Posted on Wednesday 15 June @ 11:04:50
We lost a good friend Monday.
former Sequim Gazette reporter and editor Jim Manders finally succumbed
to a horrible cancer this week, we also lost a mentor, a teacher,
a father and uncle, a hero, a confidant, jokester and newshound.
For decades, Jim was associated with a paper he authored and a newsroom
he practically called home. He seemed completely connected with
the Gazette. When I heard people mention Jim's name, they instantly
thought of their hometown paper.
Whenever I met with people those first few weeks I began to work
here four years ago, they invariably had something to say about
him. I can't lie and say these were all good things; Jim really
peeved some people, so much so that I couldn't get them to talk
to me for several years. But Jim always had the community at heart.
He cared so much for our senior citizens, our children, our businesses
that he rarely backed off at the opportunity to challenge a school
board, a city council, a county commissioner. Like it or not, Jim
was a true newspaperman. In nearly every sense of the word, he bled
the ink that fills our newspapers every week.
In those final days, Jim fought tooth-and-nail to keep himself going,
I think in large part to be with his family. He pledged not to give
up just because cancer had ravaged much of his body in these final
days. As shown by some of the fine editorials he penned for us just
a few months ago, the cancerous cells within had not thwarted his
mind or his thoughts.
Ironically, the cancer that finally took Jim from us started in
his throat and actually took most of his voice away. It could not
take away the impact he made on me and countless others, though.
Jim and former publisher Frank Garred gave me my first job, my only
job, in the newspaper business in early 2001. They immediately impressed
me with their unrestrained fervor for chasing breaking stories of
the day, for scanning dreary government agendas for relevant and
important issues, for empathizing with the voiceless to give them
a voice, and for reflecting their beloved home of Sequim, warts
and all. I wasn't exactly a hotshot recruit, but I had offers from
other papers. About 10 minutes into my interview with Jim, I knew
this is where I had to be.
He was a tough editor at times, but he always cared about the crafting
of each story. He pushed deadlines, demanded accuracy to a "T,"
fought for the people and rarely compromised, and his reporters
loved him for it. In return for his reporters' best, he defended
them with everything he could muster.
And though I only got to work for Jim directly for a little less
than a year, he taught me more about newspapers than I imagined
possible then and can fathom now.
This week I have heard from former employees about how much influence
he had upon their careers. I only wish he could have lived longer
to pass along some of that energy to future newshounds. That seems
selfish; his loss is certainly felt deeper by his kin. Still, those
who worked with him are hurting from his passing. It is a painful
Frank and Sue Ellen, Gazette publishers former and current, often
refer to our employee collective as a family. If this is true, Jim
was our father figure, the big, burly guy with the loud voice, the
unfailing principles, the last word.
He was the man we looked to at the end of the day, hoping to hear,
"Good job" or "Nice work."
If I had the chance, I'd tell him the same.
Good job, Jim. Nice work.
Gazette staff writer
Copyright © 2005 Olympic View Publishing. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
for any commercial purpose without permission of the Sequim Gazette.
marks first anniversary
100 people got that first edition as I searched for email addresses
of shuffleboard players. Some said “no thanks” after
that first edition. Their loyalty was to the print publication.
I applauded and continue to cheer that loyalty because I knew if
they ever became lagging4s readers they’d be with the magazine
forever. Circulation grew to 300 and then to 500 as people started
to see the value of lagging4s. It might not be recognizable to anyone
else, but today marks the first anniversary of publication lagging4s,
the ezine of table shuffleboard.
A year ago today the first edition hit the street, promising to
be a once-a-month publication going to readers via email. Some scoffed.
At the idea, at the need when there already was a monthly print
publication and at me, a guy not afraid to express my points of
view about shuffleboard.
I tried to make sure there was something for everyone.
A list of places to play shuffleboard grew and grew after hours
of computer searches. It tops 500 this week. Readers also contributed
heavily to this list of places to play.
One of the things I wanted to include in lagging4s was more literature.
I wrote a couple of pieces, used a story from a college student
about Friday night meat shoots and added a nice story about legend
Billy Mays written by Carlton Stowers of Texas. In addition, Robert
Hoffman contributed a piece about one of the stalwarts of the game.
You added to the fare by sending tournament results and stories
from tournaments across the country. Robert Davidson from Pacific
Coast Shuffleboard News, offered a partnership in sharing information
that has worked out well. Maybe better for lagging4s.
The highlight of the year was a trip to the North American Shuffleboard
Championships in Reno, Nev. We had pleasure to see John McDermott
inducted into the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame and we were
able to publish the magazine almost daily as results warranted.
Hopefully, the next year will be as exciting and successful. The
magazine is emailed to nearly 600 people weekly and far more than
that read lagging 4s. There is never a subscription fee for the
magazine. All you have to do to receive it is send your email address
Remember, your words about shuffleboard are always welcome as we
strive to have more than just results in the magazine.