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RIP Neil Hohlfeld

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SnoopyBoy, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. SnoopyBoy

    SnoopyBoy Member

    Neil Hohlfeld, who covered the Astros and other sports with grace and distinction during a 29-year career with the Houston Chronicle, died Saturday morning of an apparent heart attack while vacationing with his family in New Mexico. He was 56.


    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5897137.html
     
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Jesus. RIP. We had our mandatory CPR training the other day at work and one of the young folks wondered, "What are the odds?" Unfortunately, better than you might think.
    Sad news. Way, way, way too young.
     
  3. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    Holy crap. Knew him well, and really liked him. He was a smoker and I worried about that, but he seemed to be in pretty decent shape. I thought he was older than 56. Damn. RIP. I'll always remember that laugh.
     
  4. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Ah shit. Had the pleasure to speak with Neil a couple years ago when I was stringing for the Chron, and I felt like saying "I'm not worthy". Now I wish I had.

    RIP. :(
     
  5. Hillman

    Hillman New Member

    Neil was a great guy. I used to see him while covering Big 12 basketball.

    He really enjoyed working the crossword puzzle.

    We're the same age, and learning of his passing makes me grateful I still visit the gym and weight room regularly.
     
  6. Finger

    Finger New Member

    One of the most likable, most genuine guys I've met in this business. He didn't have a phony bone in his body, and not an ounce of ego, even though he'd done more than enough to merit one. Not only did he tolerate young punks like me on the road, he'd take us to dinner (never any place too pretentious), and by the time we'd have our first bite of food, Neil was already lifelong friends with the bellman, the cab driver, the waitress and the guy busing tables. He'd make them all laugh, and he laughed right along with them.

    He had tons of stories about his Astros days, but my favorite one was this: One night on the first road trip of the season, he went down to the hotel bar and saw Dave Smith, the relief pitcher, a couple of stools down. Smith, Neil said, came from a wealthy family and never cared too much about money. When Smith got up to leave, he left $500 on the bar. The bartender, sure that this was a mistake, gave the change to Neil. When Neil tried to give it back to Smith in the clubhouse the next day, Smith told him to keep it.

    So reluctantly Neil did keep it, but he stuffed it in an envelope. Turns out, all summer long this same scene kept repeating himself. And at the end of September, Neil took the envelope, gave it to the Boys and Girls Club or some such charity, and presented Smith with a receipt for a donation of several thousand dollars. I never asked Neil the natural question, but if you knew him, you didn't have to.

    There was no way he even kept a dime.
     
  7. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Finger: That's a tremendous story. Thanks for sharing.

    RIP...
     
  8. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    very sad

    RIP

    Finger ... thanks for the wonderful story
     
  9. Hillman

    Hillman New Member

    Finger's story sums up Neil as a total class act. He will be greatly missed.
     
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    RIP. News like this stinks. So few of us getting out of this without getting our hearts broken first, but I hope Neil was one who did.

    (Funny how 56 is "way, way, way too young" for something like this, but 50 is way "too old" according to some of our bosses and snot-nosed readers. Guess the ideal is to give up our jobs in our 40s and live into our 80s, living off -- I don't know -- some long-banked expense account skim or something. Or if it had been me, Dave Smith's drinkin' change. :) )
     
  11. healingman

    healingman Guest

    During my stint on the Chron sports desk ... I had a number of dealings with Neil. Truly a class act, took his profession seriously and did his job. I feel sad that he's no longer around, yet his words (and stories) will remain forever. RIP Neil ... God bless. Thanks for the story, too, Finger.
     
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Wow, this is a punch in the gut.

    Neil was a great guy who had fun on the beat. He had great rapport with the players, but he wasn't a pushover.

    Condolences to his family.
     
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