There#039;re all sorts of newspaper writers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 15, 2001

Each and every newspaperman you encounter has a unique approach to his work.

Just take the ordinary stiff, who devotes most, if not all, of his time to creating word pictures that describe events that have transpired; he is called a news reporter.

Then you take the hack who describes in grandioloquent phraseology places or things you'd love to feel, touch and commune with. He is called a feature writer.

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Then, again, you take the chap who expresses, oftimes emphatically, his interpretation of political and social events and gives you his opinion of how these events are shaping and making a historical impact on the world at large. He is called an editorial writer.

Then, lastly but by no means leastly, you take the fellow who has the gall to write columns. He combines facets of the above-described three types and dares to call himself a columnist.

Occasionally, in life, you will stumble upon a newspaper columnist who has the uncanny knack of holding your attention until you have read every last word he has to offer.

This kind of columnist is a rare breed, of which there are very few.

Among the best columnists, past and present, in Alabama and Georgia, you may list the late Grover C. Hall Jr., who authored the Hallmarks column for the Montgomery Advertiser for a number of years; Allen Rankin who penned the Rankin File column for the Alabama Journal in the 40's and 50's; the late Earl Tucker of the Thomasville Times who delighted his readers for years with his Rambling Roses and Flying Bricks columns; the late syndicated columnist, Lewis Gizzard, who tickled almost everyone's fancy with his down-to-earth commentaries, and lastly, but still not leastly, we come to Dickey Bozeman of the famed Newspaper Bozeman Family, whose homespun humor as printed in his Unclassified column is the highlight of the Evergreen Courant, which is published a scant 30 miles down I-65 from Greenville.

Hall and Rankin could be described as strict grammarians, and as writers of note who limited their comments to events of the passing scene.

On the other hand, Bozeman, Grizzard and Tucker would have to be lumped together as writers of the same ilk. They all seem to have (or have had) the same objective in mind: to alleviate the tedium of every day living; to lift the reader out of his normal torpor and into a brief moment of romantic fantasy.

Your Advocate staff members share the objectives of this triumvirate, not necessarily to get out of touch with reality, but to make the trip toward achievement more palatable.