News and Tribune


March 26, 2014

MOSS: Finding his calling ... again

Dale Moss returns to the pages of the News and Tribune

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — John McCracken has nothing to do with it, this time.

True, I am in my hometown newspaper again to get off the couch, to earn a little money for gas and beer. I am back writing, even as the cat swats at the cursor. I am glad for a weekly encore to tell more stories of my favorite people and places. With your ideas and encouragement, I put retirement on pause and return a bit to the column business.

Yes, that guy who took up Indiana page space in that other familiar newspaper all those years is now in this one. I indeed am back in it — which is how McCracken, one of my Jeffersonville High School buddies, figures.

He quit the part-time delivery job at The Evening News for which I applied in the fall of 1971. Days after I asked to succeed McCracken, I was told I was wanted.

Thing is, I was needed occasionally to cover ballgames, not to haul bundles of newspapers to carriers. Me? I assumed writing was for, well, writers. Sounded tons more fun, though, than starting and stopping and starting and stopping a hundred times each afternoon. So I grabbed a notebook and a camera and pretended like crazy to act like I knew what I was doing.

Now I get to pretend some more.

Anyway, The Evening News saw something or was desperate — I think I know which. By absolute fluke I found my calling. I happened upon a career that never stopped challenging or entertaining me. All those sentences diagrammed and all those verbs conjugated all those years before paid off like geometry or chemistry never would.  

While someone else drove the circulation truck.

I left The Evening News not long after rejecting a nickel-an-hour raise if I’d just get a haircut. I took my shrub-of-an afro — God I miss it — to the Louisville newspapers and ultimately wrote about 3,500 columns for The Courier-Journal. Being an Indiana guy for a Kentucky newspaper suited me even better than a Come Back Inn pasta special. Frankly, there is something to be said about working where the brain trust doesn’t. I finally said goodbye to The Courier-Journal, accepting a retirement buyout nearly two years ago.

Here I am, trusted anew not to dangle too many participles as I especially help these pages reflect all of Clark and Floyd counties. New Albany and Jeffersonville matter but so do Georgetown and Borden. I cannot wait again to spend time in Hibernia and Galena, Invite me to hear all about it. I love listening, learning, letting others in how inspiring you are whether you try to be or not.

In other words, put on coffee and let's chat. Show me your grandkids’ pictures and, by summer’s end, I’ll be able to show you the first of mine.

Without you, I would have run out of stories to tell a long time ago. I count on our trusted relationship to pick up where it left off. People predict this and that about the future of hold-in-your-hands newspapers. Who knows? This one will go on at least a while with me and hopefully nearly forever for you. Whenever that last issue finally is, I’m guessing the lead article will be how the Indiana approach to the Big Four Bridge is ready to open at last.

— Email ideas and thoughts to And if you see McCracken, thank him for me.



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