Friday, October 28, 2005

Have Some Cake, And Stop By To Congratulate Jimmy Larson -- But Don't Make Too Much of a Fuss About It

Well, once in a great while, people -- one or two of them anyway -- on the fourth floor of the local paper show they have some heart.

Jimmy Larson, who has been in the newsroom forever, was honored again this afternoon.

Here's the announcement:

"We have cake in the newsroom today for Jimmy's 50 years at the Register.

"From: Church, Gage
"Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 1:13 PM
"Subject: Jimmy Larson

"Fifty years ago this month, James Larson sat down at the copy desk as a Des Moines Register employee for the first time. In the half-century since Oct. 8, 1955, he rose to the position of News Editor and guided the newspaper's front page through historic times -- a moon walk, the resignation of a disgraced president and the pope's visit to Iowa. He has been known to shock the delicate sensibilities of some colleagues and newsroom visitors with his colorful language and behavior. He should be better known for guiding rookie and veteran journalists, helping them improve their craft and keep this crazy business in context. Because of his sharp news judgment, he has been and continues to be a key reason the Register is such a good newspaper.

"Jimmy doesn't want a big fuss made of his 50th anniversary with the Register, but we can't let that kind of milestone pass unnoticed. There will be no speechifying or public ceremony, but we do have cake and cookies at the usual spot, and a wonderful portrait by Marturello for you to sign. While you're there, check out a couple of historic pages -- the Register from Jimmy's first day and the Today-section profile marking his 'retirement' in 1984 -- and a scrapbook with stories contributed by several former and current staffers.

"And stop by and congratulate Jimmy -- but don't make too much of a fuss.