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RIP Don Bowman

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Elliotte Friedman, May 22, 2008.

  1. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    I received this note today, with a request to post here. Best to his family and colleagues.

    Don Bowman, age 58, died Thursday afternoon after suffering a massive stroke 10 days ago. He had worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since February 1997.
    Don was a excellent newspaper man and editor who also contributed stories. He knew college basketball inside and out (he was a huge Maryland fan).
    This is from Roger Pinckney, one of Don’s desk colleagues: “He was a great advocate for the newspaper, organizing the Locks of Love hair donation across the editorial department. The organization provides hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term hair loss. Don always put other people first in his thoughts. Not surprisingly, he is an organ donor.”
    Our shop would appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers.
    Wendell Barnhouse
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram
     
  2. Craig_Lancaster

    Craig_Lancaster New Member

    Man. RIP, Don.

    I'd just gotten to know Don a little bit, as we bonded over the death of a mutual friend, former Courant desker Chris Reidy. Don worked with Chris in Hartford.

    That shop sure has absorbed a lot of terrible news in recent years.
     
  3. sblust

    sblust Member

    Horrible news. I worked with Don in the early '80s at the late Sacramento Union. Don was a great desk guy who really knew his college hoops. Sincere condolences to his wife, whom I believe he met in Sacramento.
     
  4. Lucas Wiseman

    Lucas Wiseman Active Member

    Wow that is terrible news. I worked on the desk with Don when I was at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Great guy and what a character. He always had something funny to say about everything and was a real hoot to work with. My condolences to his family and to his co-workers and friends at the Star-Telegram, who are all no doubt having a tough time dealing with this tragedy.
     
  5. This really hits me hard. I had no idea about the stroke or anything until I was informed today that Don had died.

    Don had a one-liner for every occasion and an endless supply of silly props to keep the mood light, no matter how serious things were. Sitting across from him was never dull, and you could always count on a smile.

    I'll share a little bit of the note I sent to a few people at our shop who knew Don:


    This is indeed stunning news. My desk was right across from Don’s for the three-plus years I worked on the FWST copy desk, and, as Roger’s note says, he always kept us laughing. Fun to be around, great guy and a terrific editor, too. My favorite idea of his was a question in a quiz right before the Kentucky Derby that included photos of four horses and asked which one was Smarty Jones (or whichever Derby favorite it was). The best part was that one of the horses pictured was Mr. Ed.

    I guess I hadn’t talked to Don since leaving the FWST in 2005, but I still considered him a friend. And when I saw a headline in the paper than made me chuckle, I would always think, ``That’s a Don Bowman headline.’’

    I’ll miss him.


    Andy Friedlander
     
  6. WScribblySh

    WScribblySh Member

    Don was a copy editor in Wichita when I started in the business, mid-1980s. He's one of the reasons I looked at sports journalism and thought, "Man, this shit is fun."

    Some Bowman-isms from his Eagle-Beacon days:

    -- Don often made up song parodies, including lyrics for "La Bamba" that would parody a MLB player and end with " . . . he likes boys."

    -- He would always send the phone kid out the door on food runs with an extra buck in his pocket, telling him, "And a mongo Coke for thee."

    -- Don was the king of fantasy leagues. He'd win baseball leagues by hundreds of dollars unless you put a limit on winnings (and losings). One year, three of us youngsters teamed up in an NFL league and called ourselves the Tri-Stars. After three weeks of games, Don labeled us the Tri-Stiffs.

    Don, the Singing Todds sing your praises today. You are missed.
     
  7. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    Worked with Don probably about 25 years ago at one of his many, many stops. An interesting guy. Sorry to hear about this.
     
  8. Kip Coons

    Kip Coons New Member

    I'm posting under my real name because I want to second a lot of what Andy has said here. I worked with Don for two years at the Star-Telegram before I returned to ACC country last year.

    I was constantly amazed by Don's encyclopedic knowledge of college basketball, men's and women's. One of his favorite pastimes was to take vacation time and attend the Maui Classic, when the season was new and no one had sorted out the pretenders and contenders yet. When the Star-Telegram's women's college hoops writer went on maternity leave, Don stepped up and supplied coverage while juggling his duties on the desk as a copy editor. He also was probably the most prolific writer on the copy desk, turning in long stories that would become centerpieces or weekend features on a variety of sports.

    In part because Don and I were both ACC guys -- Don was a Terp, I was a Cavalier -- in Big 12 country and had taken similar itinerant paths through newspapers, we hit it off pretty quickly after I joined the S-T. I'll miss Don's quirky humor in the office, his railing at the dumb things Maryland fans would post on the message boards, his rants about Dukies, his love affair with the Oakland A's, his exasperation with Ralph Friedgen's offense, and most of all his professionalism.

    He'll be genuinely missed.
     
  9. If there was one thing Don hated more than Duke it was the Cadavaliers.
     
  10. sblust

    sblust Member

    Here's the Star-Telegram's obit on Don: http://www.star-telegram.com/obituaries/story/661821.html
     
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