Last Press Bus Out of Middletown
146 pages
English

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146 pages
English

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Description

For 30 years, celebrated sports journalist Bob Hammel has reported on a variety of games and athletes–the Olympics, Pan American Games, 23 NCAA Final Fours, Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series, college football bowl games, Muhammad Ali's last championship victory, and dozens of Indiana high school basketball Final Fours. In all that time, however, he's never written much about himself–ntil now.


In Last Press Bus Out of Middletown, Bob tells the story of how an Indiana sports journalist without a college degree, armed with talent, gumption, and a whole lot of inspiration and advice from those he worked with, earned national attention while still working for his small-town newspaper. From Bob Knight to Mark Spitz, from the horrors of the Munich Olympics tragedy to the Hoosiers' exhilarating clinching of the NCAA basketball championship, Bob Hammel's journey has been unforgettable. Even in his 80s, it's a dream that still has him smiling and storytelling.


Preface by Michael Koryta


Prologue


In the Beginning. . .Henry David, William Allen, Dad, and Mom


BOOK ONE Journalism and I


My "Sundown Town"


Religion, Politics, and Me


My College Years, in a Newsroom


Four Schools, Four Towns, Second Grade


The Herald-TELEPHONE?


BOOK TWO Olympian Tales


The Perry Stewart Effect


BOOK THREE My Gift That Kept Giving


Munich 1972


Even at Schwimmhalle, All Wasn't Golden


About That Basketball Game


Montreal 1976


Los Angeles 1984


Barcelona 1992


Atlanta 1996


BOOK FOUR The Bob Knight Effect


BOOK FIVE Friendships and Relationships


Acknowledgments

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 février 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253044709
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0650€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Last Press Bus Out of Middletown
LAST PRESS BUS
Out of Middletown
A Memoir
Bob Hammel
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
iupress.indiana.edu
2019 by Bob Hammel
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
ISBN 978-0-253-04467-9 (hardback)
ISBN 978-0-253-04469-3 (web PDF)
1 2 3 4 5 23 23 22 21 20 19
Contents
Preface by Michael Koryta
Prologue
In the Beginning: Henry David, William Allen, Dad and Mom
BOOK ONE: Journalism and I
My Sundown Town
Religion, Politics, and Me
My College Years, in a Newsroom
Four Schools, Four Towns, Second Grade
The Herald- TELEPHONE?
BOOK TWO: Olympian Tales
The Perry Stewart Effect
BOOK THREE: My Gift That Kept Giving
Munich 1972
Even at Schwimmhalle, All Wasn t Golden
About That Basketball Game
Montreal 1976
Los Angeles 1984
Barcelona 1992
Atlanta 1996
BOOK FOUR: The Bob Knight Effect
BOOK FIVE: Friendships and Relationships
Acknowledgments
Preface
MICHAEL KORYTA
BOB HAMMEL, WHO IS AMONG THE MOST-HONORED SPORTSWRITERS of the last 50 years, was stubbornly reluctant to write this book. I say that assuredly, because over a lot of years I spent many a lunch, along with the late esteemed Indiana University history professor George Juergens, urging him to do it. But Bob was a journalist s journalist: he enjoyed telling other people s stories but did not see anything special about his own.
I am so glad he finally changed his mind.
What he has delivered here would have delighted George, and it certainly delights me. It s a wonderful, witty, and insightful insider s account of a golden age of sportswriting, but there s a lot more than sports here, too. A lot more. Even so, Bob leaves out a few crucial details that should be noted. Since he made the mistake of giving me the opportunity to write his preface, I ll take the liberty of telling you what Bob won t. He won t indicate just how many hours of his life went into perfecting his craft. He won t talk of late nights and early mornings spent in pursuit of the right words, of the diligence to make the extra phone call or the extra stop by practice, whatever it took to give his readers the best possible coverage, and the best possible writing. He won t tell you that he outworked every one of his competitors. He ll talk only about the rewards the newspaper brought to him, and how fortunate he was to be there. I m here to say that he brought a lot of rewards to his readers, too, and how fortunate we were to have him there.
I began to work with Bob shortly after he d retired as sports editor of the Bloomington Herald-Times . My neighbor, Michael Hefron (like Bob, a mentor who has turned into a dear friend), was the newspaper s general manager. I was in my early teens, but Mike knew I wanted to be a writer. He encouraged me to meet with Bob to talk about writing, if indeed I was actually serious about that as a career. I said something like, But I don t want to be a sportswriter; I want to write books. The air around us turned a little blue, and I was left with the firm-and accurate-understanding that good writing is good writing, and I d better figure that out real fast.
So, I found myself in Bob s basement lair at the Herald-Times . ( Lair is a much more accurate description than office for the converted section of a basement storeroom with which Bob took few issues despite a year-round damp chill, a few leaky overhead pipes, and the tendency for people to accidentally turn off the storeroom lights and leave him in blackness.) It was a room that had an immediate appeal to me and remains in mind as an all-time cherished spot. So many books! Shelves and shelves of books, from sports to politics to the writer s art. Oh, how I loved that room-until the day I helped him move out of it. Then his decision to archive approximately 40 years worth of Swimming World magazine seemed a lot less impressive.
Later in these pages, you ll get Bob s version of our first encounter. His may be more accurate, because he has a truly superior memory, but there s an advantage to writing the introduction-I get to tell it first. You d have thought a breaking-news veteran like Bob wouldn t have made such a fundamental mistake.
As Bob will tell it, when I left his office that day, he didn t expect to see me again. As I recall it, I left with the notion that Bob didn t really wish to see me again. He d sent me on my way with a collection of essays by Montaigne, promising that our study of the writing craft would begin there, in the French Renaissance of the 1500s. Catching up with Stephen King-or even Mark Twain-suddenly seemed a long way off. To this day, I assert that nobody ever handed a 15-year-old kid the essays of Montaigne if he had a true desire to see that kid darken his doorstep again.

0.1. With Michael Koryta-celebrating 20-year-old Michael s first book, in a familiar lair (Bloomington Herald-Times photo by David Snodgress).
Even safe bets don t always come through. Sorry, Bob ( fig. 0.1 ).
By the time I left that first meeting in the basement office where I would have so many wonderful talks over the years to come and learn so much, two things had become crystal clear:
1. Bob Hammel knew one heck of a lot about the craft of writing.
2. My writing was going to need to get one heck of a lot better, fast.
When I returned, I received the first of what Bob called, somehow with a straight face, a little bit of editing to my story. There was so much red ink on the pages I thought he d surely nicked an artery with his letter opener. When I dropped off the story, I had placed a thank-you note on top of the manuscript, and I now observed, with an uneasy sense of what was to come, that Bob had edited even that . Bob doesn t remember doing this, but I have the evidence to prove it, because that initial edit and lesson in writing meant so much to me that I saved the story- and the thank-you note. Red ink on all of it.
He walked me through the massacre like an evidence technician recreating a crime scene, explaining what each blood splatter meant, how so many of the blood splatters shared fundamental root causes, how the blood splatters built upon one another to create a real mess, and how adherence to some basic principles could avert such bloodshed in the future.
Then he told me he thought it was a very good piece of work-a fairly bewildering summation considering he d found only a few pronouns that didn t demand a swift strike of the red pen.
And so I left Session Two with revised but still-vivid impressions:
1. I was getting a free master s class on the craft of writing, and I ought not to waste it.
2. There probably weren t too many people among Bob s legions of loyal readers who understood just how damn hard he worked.
That last point matters a great deal to me. I m talking about writing here, with the knowledge that a good many of you readers arrived for sports stories. Fear not-there are plenty of sports stories ahead, and they re riveting, compelling, funny, and moving. You ll be taken from the court of Assembly Hall, where the last undefeated team in men s major-college basketball built its 1976 title run, to the Olympic Village in Munich where Mark Spitz made history in the swimming pool and the world got an early lesson in the type of terrorism it would see far too often in years to come.
Bob was there for it all.
You ll get Michael Jordan and Bill Parcells and Ted Williams, and, yes, you ll get Bob Knight. You ll get an unparalleled look at a special era in sports history, and a special era in journalism, when a small-town newspaper could cover the Olympics and the Final Four. But I do want to talk about writing, because you should also be here for Bob Hammel, and Bob Hammel is a truly great writer. He s also a truly great worker -I ve met few people who pour as much time and energy and relentless effort into the act of improving at their craft, day by day.
Bob doesn t like to hear it, but I think his willingness to teach his craft, to share the lessons of Strunk White and William Zinsser and, yes, Montaigne, gave me about a 10-year head start on my life s dream of becoming a novelist. I published far, far earlier because of his help than I ever could have without it. I m but one beneficiary of a man who has a unique and humbling willingness to give of his own time, knowledge, and energy without any need for a return. The causes Bob has championed over the years are legion, and though he claims to be slowing down, I still leave many of our lunch meetings feeling as if I m lazy in comparison.
I took so much knowledge and joy and laughter away from those basement-office sessions before and during our years together at the Herald-Times . The locations of the sessions have changed over subsequent years, but the reward of the time with Bob never has. For a long time, I had the privilege of hearing in private the stories that are now offered to you in these pages, and I m thrilled that Bob has chosen to share them in this fashion. He has plenty to tell-and he has

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