Opinion: Remembering the man, myth and legend
The sun managed to come up through the fog and mist again today, even though Madera Printing and Publishing company founder and this publication’s steward’s light has still gone out.
Every day we wake up and it eventually dawns on us the company patriarch is still dead. And we ache because of it.
We look to the newspapers of the world to give us their best collection of facts, no matter how brutal they are to read.
In the grown-up world of news, people don’t pass away or even go on to glory. They die. It hurts to write or read the statement “he died,” so baldly put. It may not be pleasant, but it is correct.
We find we are facing another day without the rudder to this behemoth ship known as The Madera Tribune.
Many have told heart touching anecdotes about our fearless leader, and I am just one more of the many recipients in Madera of his kindness and patience.
His handling of the stress in the industry and our building show how strong he and his commitment to the record and history of Madera remained strong until the day he died.
He took great pleasure in letting his employees, his beloved children, spread their wings grasping for new heights they never knew they could reach. Rarely did we find resistance to our view or presentation of the world around us. He encouraged us and trusted us to give the process our best efforts.
I have a very specific memory of this exact concept. I made Chuck and the Tribune a solemn vow to give the work everything I had every day.
The caveat remains, someday I will give you 110 percent. Some days I only have about 87 percent, but everything I got to give, will go to you.
He was just fine with that. He may have occasionally believed our view wasn’t right, but he never accused us of giving it less than the best we had to offer.
We worked with many seasoned and up and coming professionals in our employ. He also worked with the people of the community, throughout his reign at the Tribune.
He approached those trying to navigate by providing a welcoming manner and a safe environment to explore. Our work and archives have long been available at the Madera County Library. He continued this practice at his expense for those who need background research.
When staff were asked to share the subject of our work, in the sports, features and news department, requested for reprints, he agreed, as long as we were given credit as acknowledgement and source material he gave us permission to share generously.
He saw the best in those around him, his ego never threatened and comfortable in his own skin. He was not a saint, nobody in this business is. He strived to live by the Rotary four-way test and the Golden Rule.
His Toastmaster training in his younger days made him a popular and fascinating speaker when called up to introduce individuals or subjects even in arenas not his own.
Working for him, through my personal challenges be they my health, my husband’s, pet’s or other calamities, his understanding nature and embrace never wavered.
His staff’s welfare was paramount. It paid him dividends in loyalty from those he employed.
He always looked to find another solution when faced with a less than best case scenario.
All walks of life were on even footing with him. He was color blind even if those around him were not.
I once referred to the men in a political landscape as skinny old white guys. He saw the intended humor and didn’t take it personally. He enjoyed other’s attempts at levity and read a person’s good intention.
He may not have had a cynical bone in his body. Yet he didn’t get on his high horse when those around him turned sarcastic.
These much-loved clichés were made for the actions of this lovely man’s nature, without becoming a cliché himself. I will miss him the rest of my days.
Be at peace dear Chuck in Annette and our Lord’s loving arms.
Long days and pleasant nights dear readers, have a great weekend.