Friday, April 13, 2007

Not Bad for a Kid From Dora

I was off today, but I had a lot of web work backed up and it took some time to catch up with that. I wrapped up this afternoon and we met our friend Jan Andrews for an ice cream cone at Jacks. She was married to our friend Tim Robinson. As I've mentioned before in this blog, Tim went to the same high school as Jilda and I and he crammed a lot of living in his life. He wrote for the Daily Mountain Eagle here in Walker County and went on to work for the Birmingham Post Herald. He was in Selma during the volatile Civil Rights marches and went on to work for the Washington Post during the early 70's. He did important work investigative work during the Watergate trials.
He was a good friend and an inspiration to me. He died in 2003 and left an empty place in the hearts of all those who knew and loved him.
His wife Jan is a remarkable woman as well. She is responsible, along with Tim's family, for conceiving the Timothy Sumner Robinson Forum at Samford University (where Tim graduated at the age of 19) and making it a reality. The mission of the forum is to promote excellence in journalism and fund an endowment, in Tim's name, which provides an internship each summer for a student from Samford University to work hands on at the Washington Post.
Leonard Downie Jr. who is the editor of The Washington Post spoke for an hour on Accountability in journalism. I was spellbound. He read a story off of his Blackberry hand held device about the bombing in the green zone in Iraq....a story sent to him on Thursday minutes before the forum. The story appeared in the Washington Post this morning and was told from the perspective of a Post reporter who was the building where the explosion occurred.
Downie spoke about the importance of getting the story right. Some of his reporters were the ones who broke the story about the problems at Walter Reed Hospital there is Washington. I could have listened all night.
Downie knew Tim Robinson personally and spoke highly of his accomplishments....about his dedication to getting the facts right and holding public officials accountable for their actions.
It occurred to me sitting there that my friend Tim was indeed an extraordinary person. Not bad for a kid from Dora, Alabama

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