TIM DAHLBERG’S NEVADA PRESS ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME SPEECH
The Nevada Press Association honored the best of its best on Saturday at Palace Station, including three Hall of Fame inductees.
Joining the Hall of Fame ranks were Tim Dahlberg, veteran Associated Press sportswriter; and Las Vegas Review-Journal journalists Don Hamm and the late Lisa Kim Bach.
My wife, Cara, and I were proud to be among Tim’s guests. We go back a long way, nearly 40 years, when The AP sent me in from San Diego to fill in on vacation relief for correspondent Pat Arnold. Tim worked for the Review-Journal at the time, with Sherm Frederick, who went on to become publisher and hired me in 1999.
Here is Tim’s speech:
Thanks much, this is truly an honor for a guy who started in journalism as a 10 year old paperboy for the Review-Journal.
It's funny how careers go...I thought my first daily newspaper job was going to be at the upstart Valley Times in North Las Vegas....It paid 125 dollars a week plus the chance to compete with the big boys -- and girls -- at the Review-Journal and Sun.
I interviewed with the owner, Bob Brown, but didn't get the job....and couldn't figure out why....it was only later that I learned the reason: my hair was too long!
All right, so it's been a while...and times change just as much as hair styles.
I ended up getting hired by the RJ a few months later -- sight unseen so the hair wasn't an issue -- and was immediately put to work on the night cop beat.
At the age of 23 I was in the job of a lifetime....I hung out with cops, got up close with criminals, and saw pretty much every major crime you could imagine over the ensuing months.
It was thrilling, though it wasn't all fun and games.
I had been on the job only a few months when culinary union boss Al Bramlet disappeared...A few weeks later his body was found near Potosi Mountain, and it was my job to call his widow and get her reaction to her husband's untimely demise.
I guess I called a bit too quick...I asked her for her reaction to the discovery of her husband's body and she dropped the phone and started wailing....Turned out she had yet to be notified.
But, hey, I had deadlines and couldn't wait.
It was uncomfortable, sure, but journalism can be uncomfortable. As most of you who practice it every day understand, it's not an occupation for the faint of heart. I was in Carson City a few years back and went to the Press Association building and spent some time looking at the pictures of people in the Hall of Fame.
Of course Mark Twain was the first inductee, so there's a bit of a link there....It was Twain, you might remember, who famously said, ``there are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe -- only two -- the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.
I've been lucky enough to be a part of the AP for 40 years now and, believe me, I'm grateful every day to have the opportunity to be a small part of the many people spreading that light.
All the greats of Nevada journalism are in the hall, of course.
Some were friends of mine, colleagues of mine...Some I simply admired from afar. Ed Vogel, A.D. Hopkins, John L. Smith, Royce Feour, Ned day, I worked with them all.
The late Laura Myers was a friend, as was the AP's longtime Carson City correspondent Brendan Riley.
Sherm Frederick and I started at the RJ the same night together....He was a lowly intern and I helped him learn the ropes along the way. Now he lives on a boat and we own six weekly newspapers across Nevada together....Who would have thought?
There was one picture I instantly recognized on that wall without looking for a name...Not many today know him, but Roy Vannett was someone who held good journalism dear to his heart and wasn't afraid to let you know if you weren't practicing it. Roy was the night editor when I arrived at the RJ and he terrified me....Roy growled at me for weeks, sending me back my copy full of editing remarks and making me wonder if I had any future in journalism.
Turned out Roy was really a softie, but I didn't know....What I did know was he helped turn me into the journalist I am today by insisting I do things the right way and make sure that all my facts were right and so were my spellings. I'm looking forward to seeing the winners tonight for coverage of the horrible shooting on the strip a year ago that killed so many people.
That night and in the days after there was some great boots on the ground journalism practiced under some very difficult conditions.
I've covered disasters, from the MGM grand fire to the Pepcon explosion to Hurricane Katrina, among others....It's not easy work, certainly not fun work.
But great journalism isn't easy either and I see it practiced every day from the small papers in our battle born media chain to my colleagues in the AP who carry the light to all corners of the world every day.
It's a calling you all have, a calling we all have.
We're not the enemy of the people, not in any way....We are the people and without a free and thriving press we wouldn't be nearly what we are today in this great country.
I'd like to thank my wife Donna who has put up with me and my many absences over the years....And my sons Brian and Eric, who I couldn't be more proud to be their father.
My daughters in law, Lindsay and Christina are here and, of course, sitting nicely at the table over there are my grandkids Riley, Aubree and Stella and one soon to be named. I'm so happy to be here and to be with all of them for this special night.
Thank you once again, it's truly an honor to be in the Nevada newspaper Hall of Fame.
For the complete list of honorees, click here: https://bit.ly/2xZztLh
R-J columnist Ron Kantowski on Dahlberg’s career: https://bit.ly/2xRyAE7