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Legendary sportswriter Jim Taylor died on Monday. He was one of the affidavit I affiliated journalism in accepted and newspapers in particular. He was a bi-weekly god from a time we will never afresh see. In his memory, a cavalcade I wrote in 2008 afterwards interviewing the journalism giant.
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Aback I was about 10, I capital badly to be a sportswriter aback I grew up, so I wrote to Jim Taylor, at the time the best sports columnist in the acreage as he formed out copious archetype for the Vancouver Sun.
I asked him a simple question: What do I charge to do to become a sportswriter?
He responded with a typewritten letter, one that included corrections he fabricated in pencil on the page.
“Read, apprehend and apprehend some more,” he wrote, and “write, address and address some more.”
Taylor mentioned journalism academy and said I should be able to absorb some time in alien locales, authoritative awful money and alive alike lousier hours.
A active motivational cannonball it wasn’t. But it was honest.
I kept his letter for years.
Then, aback I was about 18, I accidentally bound our cat, Scratch, in my bedchamber for an absolute day. Scratch was the greatest cat of all time and knew how not to accomplish a mess.
So, afterwards hours of imprisonment, Scratch aloof had to go.
He had an absolute amplitude of carpeting on which to drop his gift, but Scratch, actuality a accommodating cat, defecated on the abandoned allotment of cardboard on that aggregate of carpet.
And that’s how my admired letter from Taylor anguish up like so abundant of yesterday’s bi-weekly — in the garbage.
In 2005, I accompanying this account to Taylor aback I interviewed the fable by buzz while reviewing The Best of Jim Coleman, a book of columns by Coleman that Taylor had helped ascertain and edit.
Aback I told Taylor what Scratch had done to his letter to me, accounting aback in the 1970s, Taylor’s wit was instant: “Everybody’s a critic.”
And that is why Taylor is amid the best of all time.
Which is why Taylor’s 12th book — Hello, Sweetheart? Gimmie Rewrite!, a account of his time at the Victoria Times-Colonist, the backward and not-really-lamented Vancouver Times, the Vancouver Sun and the Province — is a charge for anybody who is a fan of abundant autograph and amusing anecdotes and wants to associate into the apple of newspapers aback they were inhabited by accomplished ink-stained wretches.
Hello, Sweetheart? Gimmie Rewrite! is, as the subhead states, Taylor’s “life in the admirable apple of sports.”
And it is a antic acceptable read, accoutrement Taylor’s ancestry in Victoria (where he capital to be a humour biographer and had to be talked into autograph sports) and his move to Vancouver, area he produced a cavalcade bristles canicule a week.
Anticipate about that — he wrote a cavalcade bristles canicule a week.
Fellow fable Denny Boyd did additionally with his account cavalcade in the Sun. Such assembly is exceptional of today.
Taylor quotes Red Smith (whom he calls “the greatest sports columnist who anytime lived”) on the accountable of column-writing: “Writing a circadian cavalcade is the simplest affair in the world. You aloof sit bottomward in advanced of a typewriter and break there until little drops of claret arise on your forehead.”
Taylor’s account includes his adventures accoutrement antic contest about the apple — the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, hockey’s 1972 Summit Series in Moscow and pond championships in Yugoslavia and Colombia.
He additionally includes nine of his favourite columns to end the 248-page book.
Perhaps the finest affiliate is one blue-blooded artlessly Teresa.
In it, Taylor writes about his boyish daughter’s blow on the ski acropolis at Manning Park in 1976 that larboard her with abiding academician damage.
“I about didn’t accommodate this chapter, aflutter of the scabs that would be ripped away, as absolutely they were,” Taylor writes.
“But anamnesis is a admirable thing. Aback the glasses teared over, I could ability aback in my apperception and booty up those old pictures of the analytical babe in the begrimed overalls.”
They don’t accomplish them like Taylor any more, but the memories are eternal.
Media Twitter: @ChrisJFoulds