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Printer’s ink and tears flow together

They buried Bill Knight the other day at Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin. Bill spent 42 years at the Griffin Daily News. When Laura and I first got into this business over 30 years ago, Bill was one of many mentors who helped us along the byways of community journalism. Bill was a soft-spoken man. I never heard him raise his voice. In my mind’s eye I picture him at his desk in front of an old manual typewriter with Associated Press news and photo wire machines whirring in the room. Often he had the earpiece from an antique transistor plugged into one ear, making sure area radio stations didn’t scoop him on anything. Bill was expert at diffusing tense situations. ‘There are some things that just don’t need to be put in the paper,’ he often said. Bill, a sports fanatic, was instrumental in remodeling Memorial Stadium there and was inducted in to the Griffin-Spalding Sports Hall of Fame. He taught me how to chart a high school football game on a reporter’s notebook and take pictures of said game at the same time. Bill graduated from Griffin High then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon returning home, he attended West Georgia College and graduated from the Emory University School of Journalism. He loved his work at his hometown newspaper and, quite frankly, it hasn’t been the same since he retired in 1992. Bill was buried next to his wife and son. Jan Chapman Knight died nearly 50 years ago giving birth to James L. Knight III. After the Navy bugler’s mournful rendition of ‘˜Taps’ died on the gusty wind blowing across the cemetery, I noticed the name Dix on the adjacent headstone and was intrigued. Sure enough, Lenwood Dix was buried in the plot next to Bill’s. Lenwood ran the press in the back of Griffin Daily News for many of the years Bill ran the news operation in the front end. It was fitting. Tears and printer’s ink mix in the sod where two men who meant so much to us now lie in rest – deadlines forgotten.

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