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My Mom and Dad met when they were reporters for the El Paso Times. After they married, my father became a correspondent* for the Associated Press in New Mexico. My mother worked as a police reporter, stringer, and photographer until my father became AP bureau chief.
She still reads two physical newspapers every day. During a visit last week, she handed me this clipping, asking “How did that happen?”
I glanced at the clipping and started to tell her what I knew about the history of the Bismarck, the battle of Denmark Strait, and the final sinking of the German ship. She stopped me and said, “No, I wanted to know how it sank another ship three days after it had been sunk itself.” I looked more closely at the clipping and saw the mistake. “Oh,” I said, “they should have written ‘earlier’ instead of ‘later.'”
Even though she had not been a newspaperman since the 1970’s, she was still able to spot this one mistake. I guess you never lose your skills.**
Surprisingly, even though she had lived through those times, she had no knowledge of the events described in the clipping. I won’t fault her for that. When the Bismarck was sunk, she was a young girl in a small town in rural Texas. She didn’t turn twelve until December 7th of that year.
* My father hated the word ‘journalist,’ corrected anyone who called him that, and refused to hire anyone with a journalism degree. His degree was in history.***
** Please don’t ask me to arrest someone or start a line when I’m 91.
*** I’ll bet he knew about the sinking of the Bismarck.Published in