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Happy trails, A.J. Carr

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by PeteyPirate, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    A real gentleman will retire from sportswriting.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1459335.html
     
  2. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Oops, meant for the journalism board.
     
  3. maumann

    maumann Member

    When the ECHL gave an expansion franchise to Raleigh in 1991, I don't know if anyone on the News and Observer staff at the time had ever seen a hockey game in person. Poor A.J. drew the short straw, as he knew something about tennis -- and I guess the powers that be on South McDowell thought it must be related in some way. Racquets, hockey sticks, balls, pucks.

    I wound up stringing the games for the Herald-Sun and worked as the PA announcer for the first two seasons.

    For not knowing anything about hockey, A.J. was a very quick learner. He asked me a ton of questions about the rules early on, and even though he might not have understood the strategy, Kurt Kleinendorst was more than willing to explain the nuances to A.J., and his game stories were always well-written and detailed.

    He may be the nicest man I've ever met in this business. Polite and pleasant to a fault. And always greeted me by my name and with a smile on his face.

    And Dorton Arena -- a converted horse show barn -- was possibly the worst-ever hockey venue in the history of the sport. But the place was packed for the first couple of seasons. And somehow the NHL's there now. Unbelievable.

    May the road rise up to meet you, Mr. Carr. I wish you well.
     
  4. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Good on the N&O for letting A.J. retire on his terms, or at least in a dignified manner.

    Maumann's story is one every writer, young or old, experienced or no, a long-time resident or first-time visitor to a Triangle media event with Carr can offer.

    He did a great job with the Raleigh IceCaps, the team which played in that old barn Dorton Arena before Peter Karmanos arrived with his organization from Hartford. He also worked soccer in Raleigh with the same enthusiasm, dignity and pure class that he worked an Atlantic Coast Conference assignment. He was the sort who never, ever big-timed anyone and found a way to make anyone unfamiliar with the territory feel at home.

    If there's a nicer man in the business, I don't know him. Thank you for everything you've done for readers, colleagues, editors and sports in the Triangle over your career. A.J. has no idea what he's meant to some of us.
     
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Somewhere, I have an IceCaps sweatshirt.
    A.J. is indeed a very, very, very good dude. I wish him well.
     
  6. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    Class guy all the way who will be missed. Glad he, hopefully, got to leave on his terms. Hopefully it will save somebody else from getting laid off.
     
  7. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    So many pompous, overrated, me-over-we types in this business.
    And then, once every 10 years, you meet a guy like A.J.
    I'm young enough to remember racing my dad to the driveway to read his game stories, old enough to know that there aren't many left like him.
    Elegant, poignant and always fair.
    A.J. is a role model for how to conduct yourself as a professional.
     
  8. Yes, A.J. is certainly a role model. A total class act.
     
  9. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    On the main board, this gets abbreviated as "Happy trails, A.J. C" I had a giant lump in my throat thinking that Atlanta was losing its daily paper.
     
  10. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I have crossed paths with A.J. many times. A total class act. He will be missed.
     
  11. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    One time, I think it was on the road in the NCAA tournament, AJ needed a ride back to the hotel from the arena. The AP's Dave Droschak offered to take him, and AJ thanked him profusely, so profusely in fact that Dave said, "AJ, if you thank me one more time I'm not giving you a ride."
     
  12. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    There are plenty of people in this business that make you wish you could write like them, but A.J., as much as anybody I've ever worked with, just made you wish you could go about your day with his attitude. Just kind, polite, unassuming, genuinely happy to see you, every time.

    I talked with A.J. back in December -- same soft, quiet voice -- and he hadn't changed a bit from when I was able to work with him 15 years ago. So, so much bitterness in this business, and it never seemed to get to him. Great writer, great man, and the whole business drops down a notch without him.
     
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