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RIP Jim Kuykendall

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    He won't be known to everybody here because he worked "inside," but a lot of people worked with him in sports in Bradenton, and then the Sun-Sentinel and finally the Hartford Courant. He was both a word guy and then ultimately a design guy. He lived a great, fun life but it ended way too soon Saturday morning at 49. I had known him since he was 19 years old:


    He deserves to be remembered here.

    Unfortunately, that means two of Fred Turner's top assistants at Fort Lauderdale in the 1980s have left us now, following Mark Leary.
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Sorry, all, indulge the bump before I leave work, some people in the business will want to know about this. Thanks.
  3. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    Thanks, SF. I didn't know Jim, but the work the Sun-Sentinel did in that era was tremendous. Agreed, that 49 is way too soon.
  4. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    Jesus. The Courant sports department has had way too many of these losses.
  5. vivbernstein

    vivbernstein Member

    He was one of the nice guys in this business. Terrible news. Condolences to his family and friends.
  6. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Dear Kuyk.... You put on one hell of a fight against this motherfucker. My great sorrow that you had to leave your beloved girls behind.

    My mind floats back to humid March mornings playing softball at Holiday Park, that cool ponytail and your response to an agate clerk who told off a high-profile writer.

    Regarding that final recollection: One night, two decades ago, I was working in the cubicle next to a fellow editorial assistant who was taking a call from our paper's most belligerent writer. Things got hot, as this douchebag, condescension spewing out of his every pore, tried to ascertain whether his story had squirted in through the Atex system. By the time the scribe got around to demanding to know how his file he had just sent into the system concluded (to that point, he had peppered the clerk with a fusillade of "You follow?"s), my cubicle neighbor, whom I will call Bryan to protect the innocentgreat, simply spit back: "With a period," immediately hanging up.

    Ten minutes later, JimK (his Atex username while he toiled hard on the New River) ambled up to the frustrated agate clerk.

    Jim had a distinctive entry into conversation with subordinates that would start with a calm, but deep, guttural, elongated pronouncement of your name. The tone of this conversation start was consistent with the few dressdowns I had seen Kuyk administer to a wayward underling.

    JimK: "Bryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyan?"

    Bryan: "Yessir."

    JimK: "Is it true that you told [putz writer] his story ended with a period?"

    Bryan: "Yes I did."

    JimK put his arms akimbo. Then, he leaned in to Bryan's cubicle as if to impart a rebuke.... and raised his right hand to shoulder height. High five.

    Jim, my unquantifiable thanks for giving a 21-year-old schlub his first job. I will never forget you.

    Thanks for the thread, SF.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Our softball used to be at the corner of Sunrise and Andrews, but same idea and imagery.

    Hope a lot of people are able to attend the memorial service Tuesday. I tried to figure it out, and it just didn't work.
  8. Luke_Knox

    Luke_Knox New Member

    Some nice posts on this thread, wish I had a personal memory to share. But I don't. I only knew of Jim through his outstanding work over the years, which spoke for itself. I considered him one of the best of the best, somebody for a hack designer like myself to look up to.

    Terrible, tragic news, compounded by the fact that Mr. Kuykendall was a great guy on top of being a great journalist. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    This is a great post and a better eulogy.

    Sorry for your loss and RIP to someone who sounds like a great one.
  10. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    JimK fetched me at the airport on the day of my interview in Fort Lauderdale. Fred Turner (bless his heart) had forgotten that I was arriving that day, and it was JimK who put my mind at ease about what life would be like in South Florida if I was lucky enough to get the job.

    "Don't worry. All those murders you hear about? They're in Miami, and only if you are dealing drugs."
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    That's great stuff -- it was a standard line to everybody. :)
  12. I knew Kuykendall back when he worked in sports. He was a great guy on a great staff... He worked with Mark Leary, Scott Powers, Jeff Otterbein, Craig Stanke, Craig Davis, Robbie Andreu, Fran Labelle, Bill Plaschke, Mitch Albom, Gene Wojo, Andy Cohen, Tim Rosaforte, Dave Joseph, Mark Kazlowski, Bernie Lincicome, and many more newspaper studs worked with JimK ... He was surrounded by greatness. And he was great.
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