The Press: When I Was a Boy

In 1941, word reached the St. Louis Globe-Democrat that H. J. Blanton, 71-year-old editor of the Monroe County (Mo.) Appeal (circ. 2,996), was planning to retire. Indignantly the Globe wrote: "The newspaper [Blanton edits] is one of Missouri journalism's choice assets . . . We herewith and to his face call Jack Blanton a quitter, a fellow with a future who is deliberately passing it by to dally down the primrose path with a niblick in one hand, a fishpole in the other."

As it turned out, this was nothing but a canard. Quitting was the last thing in the mind of...