PAUL

Seems like a few months ago that were living in Clarion, PA. I was the Intermediate Director and we had over 25% unemployment there. It was a bad time for the people, in general, in Western Pennsylvania is the early 1980’s. I was just settling into my job, which included reading seventeen newspapers every other day. It was imperative that I do this to keep up with all of my seventeen school districts and kind of impress the superintendents.
I also made it a necessity to visit every single school board in the entire Intermediate Unit. At each board meeting, I was given some time to explain what the I.U. did and what my job was all about. When I arrived at the Red Bank Valley School District offices, I was greeted by the Superintend of Schools, Dick Krepp, who introduced me to the editor of the local paper, the Leader-Vindicator. That is how I met Paul,
The meeting began with the pledge to the flag, a prayer and introduction of guests, of which I was one. I was asked to approach the board table and give my schpeil. I did my due diligence rather artfully, I thought. One of the board members, a professor at Clarion University, took particular umbrage with everything I said. He asked me what my salary was and inquired if I thought it was too high. I told him my salary and answered all of his questions. I was about to ask him what his salary was at the university (it too was a public institution), but I didn’t.
Carol and I got out of there wondering what kind of impression I made. Later on, I found out that the rest of the board and supe, thought that the professor’s questions were really out of order. The meeting was on a Tuesday night and the Leader Vindicator came out on a Thursday. I quickly grabbed hold of my copy that afternoon and read the article by Paul. It made mention everything that I presented and nothing about my salary. I quickly called Paul and thanked him for the article and the absence of my salary. He said that in the near future, he would publish my salary, but he was not going to allow that effete snob to tell him what to write in a story by continuing to bring up my salary.
That was the beginning with Paul. He is an uncommonly kind and thoughtful person and a great reporter and editor. In the following years, he became the editor of the Clarion News. It came out twice a week and could keep up with the happenings in Clarion County. Among all of the folks he raked over the coals for those years, I was among them. I can remember one cartoon that he had me and my skinny body dressed up in a barrel with suspenders crying “poverty.” The cartoons were done by Paul ( although most of us thought it was by his wife).
Paul soon became the managing editor of the Clarion News and made it a success in many ways. People waited for it come out to see what Ronald T. Bogus had to say, how the county commissioners were screwing up, how the schools were doing with their budgets, births and deaths and a comprehensive community newspaper.
After we left Clarion, Paul went up to the college to become their publications person. Since we were not there, I am not sure what his role was. He was there for over 9 years. He came to Lancaster in the early 2000’s to become the managing editor of a publishing firm. That’s when I ran across him again.
In my communications with him, he seemed a different person. His marriage had dissolved, his kids moved to different parts of the country, and he came to grips with something that had been with him since childhood- abuse. He published a book in 2010 that described his early life and how he coped with it. He is still coping with it right now.
He is now living in a log cabin in Lancaster County and has just been downsized. It’s tough for me to see this totally competent person in such a condition. At this point, we are looking around for something that he can grab onto. He needs our help and we will give it to him.

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