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Furman Bisher's final column

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by John, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Here's the legendary AJC columnist's farewell piece:

    It was April 15, income tax day, in 1950 that this all began. Usually, such a run as this rarely ever carries on this long. Perhaps my act has worn thin. Perhaps I have over-stayed my time. But to an old warrior such as I, it isn’t easy finding an appropriate ending place.

    My mind wanders back to the Falcons’ first flirtation with glory. They led the Dallas Cowboys into the shadows of a Sunday afternoon in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 60,222 fans in a state of exhilaration, a division championship a breath away when the defense broke down. It was over and a city was left heartbroken.

    It had been such a colossal event that even Red Smith, the scholarly columnist of the New York Times, had flown in to write of it. After the game, I gave him a lift back to his hotel, and as he collected his tools of trade, and opened the car door, he put a hand on my shoulder and said: “One more day in a cold, dreary press box — God, I love it.”

    That said it for a lot of us.

    The full column: http://blogs.ajc.com/furman-bisher-blog/2009/10/10/transcontinental-memories-of-so-many-fun-mark-the-end/?cxntfid=blogs_furman_bisher_blog

    I grew up reading him and I wish him the best.
  2. It was Furman Bisher whom Jack Nicklaus mentioned as being in the "twilight of his career" when Nicklaus won the '86 Masters, correct?
  3. Moondoggy

    Moondoggy Member

    The column was great but the comments were even better. More than 130 at my count and NOT ONE negative one. No one saying "it's about time" or any of the other stupid things that get posted in the name of "conversation with the community." The reaction says so much about the man and the way he connected with readers, but it also says that the written word - done correctly - still matters. Of course, I'm sure the AJC is giddy because it means that many people clicked on the column. Priorities, you know.
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    I respect the man. A true legend.
    Please tell me he was spared furloughs and all that stuff in his final years.
  5. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    (Tim Ellerbee at the AJC asked assorted geezers to send him 200 words on Furman for use in some kind of tribute. So...)


    One time, Furman walked out on Jack Nicklaus, who interrupted his own Masters press conference to ask, "Furman, don't you want to hear me?"
    "Jack, when you get to be my age," the great man said, "you respect your kidneys."

    One time, I was in a limousine with Jim Murray, the late Los Angeles Times sports columnist, who ran down a laundry list of his health problems before pointing at the mighty Furman.
    "And that sumbitch," he said, "can't catch a cold."

    One time, early in my AJC days, after being told not to ask Furman what he was writing, I did it anyway, a little so we wouldn't write the same thing, more to hear what he'd say.
    "Judas priest, general observations on the day's events," he said, so I chose another topic.

    One time, at his 80th birthday party, his old friend and boss Jim Minter said that when Furman got his dander up, he was as good as anybody.
    "I never knew he got his dander down," I said, which is why Furman was always as good as anybody.

    One time, two years ago, his glorious wife, Linda, called him in the Augusta press room and Furman became a high school kid in love.
    "I just finished, honey," he said. "It wasn't much. I keep trying. I'll do that perfect column someday."
  6. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    Thanks for that, Dave.

    All the best, Mr. Bisher.
  7. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    AJC really did it up for Furman. Gave him above the fold on the sports front and virtually all of page 2 and page 3. Quotes from Dan Jenkins and Blackie Sherrodd on Bisher as well.

    And the final column he submitted was typed up on his old 1950 typewriter.

    Selah, Furman.
  8. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Great stuff, Dave.

    I loved Furman's farewell. Short and sweet.
  9. bigbadeagle

    bigbadeagle Member

    I'm already an hour and a half behind schedule today, but screw it.
    I had a couple of times to be with Furman. Once, I sat next to him in the press room at Augusta National. Somebody asked Nicklaus what his mind set was going into the day. Furman said, not very much under his breath and I think he was quite aware of it, "what the hell kind of question is that?" It was also revealing to see that, once the interview session was over and Furman was leaving, Jack waited for Furman to leave his aisle and let him go in front. They had a little back and forth about it.
    He also spoke to us one year at the Georgia Sportswriters Association and walked back with him to his car. An enjoyable, interesting few minutes.
    He is truly the last of a breed. And that is not a good thing.
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Furman was great. I've always been partial to Jesse Outlar but Furman was a major reason to pick up the paper.
  11. longgone

    longgone Member

    An absolutely great guy who wrote with grand lyrics and who was great to hang around at various press boxes/media centers where we intersected. He always had time even for the little guys.
  12. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    His column on Aaron's 715th was perfect. It was a great event, but its arrival was so inevitable and almost anticlimactic that the column needed a distinctive touch. Furman provided that by playing off the names of the pitchers who had allowed the homers.
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