1. It’s Tuesday, March 24, 2015. It’s starting to warm up a little in New York. Maybe the worst is over. Maybe.
2. Having three of my potential Final Four teams knocked out, I’m not going to win the pool I’ve entered (although Wisconsin, my pick to win it all, remains alive). But I still don’t want Kentucky to run the table.
3. Here’s what I told my news editing class yesterday: In any career you have, your success is shaped by mentors — people who’ve been there and show you not only how to do your job, but how to enjoy what you do and conduct yourself as a professional.
I’ve had several, but one of the most important was Marv Schneider, whose memorial service I attended yesterday.
Marv was with The Associated Press for more than 40 years. I met him when I joined the AP’s broadcast wire — a newswire written specifically for radio and TV stations — in 1976.
Marv was the main night sports writer. Eventually, I was his No. 2. We spent eight hours together four nights a week, and talked about everything as we waited for the first East Coast night games to end. Sports, of course, because that was our job. But family life, food, politics, personalities and our jobs.
He was a devoted union man, partly because he wanted to get provide for his family as well as possible, but also because he saw it as a way to help the people he cared about, his colleagues in the newsroom.
Marv was also the unlikely radio voice of AP Sports in New York. Unlikely because there was nothing about Marv’s booming, New York-accented voice that said radio newsman in that day and age. And yet, he was amazing — he gave the AP a presence that stood out from every other news organization, and his voice was known across the United States.
I hadn’t seen him in many years — that, alas, is also something that happens. People shuffle jobs – I worked in six different places after I left the AP in 1983, with the 16 years I spent at CNN the longest and last stop. I moved out of the city and was involved in bringing up two children. But Facebook, for all its drawbacks, was where you could still keep in touch with people, and Marv, even in his 80s, was on there.
I’m saddened by his departure. But I smile when I think of all our conversations, all the kindnesses he showed me.
I still believe good people don’t really die. They live in those whose lives they touch — in a word or phrase they use that they wouldn’t otherwise, in the way they think about their jobs and the people in their lives. In that way, Marv is a part of hundreds of news professionals who worked with him, as well as his family and friends. That’s another reason to smile.