On Sunday afternoon, we laid our friend and colleague David Melson to rest, following his short, but courageous battle with cancer. Losing someone is never easy, but what is going to be easy is …
On Sunday afternoon, we laid our friend and colleague David Melson to rest, following his short, but courageous battle with cancer.
Losing someone is never easy, but what is going to be easy is seeing the void he leaves in this office and community.
I wrote a piece last week looking back over the 12 years I spent working with David on a daily basis and I’ve got to say, it’s going to feel weird as we continue to serve this community without him by our side.
David was one of the best journalists I had the honor to work with in my 13-year career working the sports beat.
No matter what we had going on, Dave was always looking over everything in doing his duties as the paper’s copy editor.
Not much got by Dave, but at the end of the day, we’re all human and certainly mistakes were made here and there.
I can’t put into words how much of a comfort it was to always have someone with David’s professionalism and expertise to have your back.
For a young guy to get hired into a local beat like Shelbyville and Bedford County, David was the absolute best peace of mind and encouraging factor in my career.
I can’t count how many times David would look over my work and make a comment of encouragement along the lines of, “Good column!” or “That’s an award-winning photo! Great shot!”
David just understood the news and whether he realized it or not, was one of the best mentors for a young guy starting out his journalism career.
He just understood what the job entailed and how to do it at a very high level.
The countless awards he won over the years just confirms what I found out first hand—nobody did it better.
There’s an empty desk at the Times-Gazette with a pair of glasses sitting on it that will never be worn again and it’s just a hard process to go through knowing he’s not here to be our safety net and be the eyes for editing our work.
But like all things in life, there comes a time to pass the torch.
More often than not, that comes in the form of a worker retiring and adjusting to life after, while still being able to reconnect every so often and catch up.
While we won’t get that chance, to see David’s impact on all of us, just pick up a copy of the Times-Gazette.
Give the website link a share on social media.
Take time to appreciate the work that goes into providing local journalism—not for us doing the work, but to see what David’s impact on us all did and in how that translates into us continuing on with the work he would be proud to be part of.
None of us would be here without his decades of work and impact on dozens of journalists along the way.
It sucks our friend isn’t here.
It sucks not being able to shoot him a copy of a story and ask for his feedback.
It sucks not hearing “good column” from him anymore.
But what doesn’t suck is he’s not in pain.
While he won’t be looking over our work anymore, I’ve got a feeling he will be looking over all of us, in true copy editor form.
Rest easy, Dave.
We’ve got it from here.
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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