You bet I was excited to see David Elfin for lunch last week.
He and I worked together in the sports department of the big daily in the mid-1980s. I was his boss, technically, the assistant sports editor to his men’s basketball beat writer. In reality, though, we’d both come up here with time spent as part-timers at the Washington Post. I was a whole two years older than David, with four years in as a staffer at the Prince George’s Journal but he’d picked up his Master’s at Syracuse University.
Even-Steven, we were. Good friends, practicing sports journalism for all we were worth. I helped him get that Pearl Washington going pro early scoop with as much advice I could give. He got the scoop by digging unbelievably hard.
David invited the real big-wig, our sports editor at the time, Tom Boll – he of such a steady voice and wise hand – to make it a table for three.
David figured it was a quarter-century since we’d sat down together.
My hour break from the library sure went by quickly.
David’s working the transportation beat down there in D.C., having been caught up in the newspaper shrinkage dilemma after covering the Washington Redskins and the NFL for decades. Yeah, when the Washington Times closed up, he was forced to look elsewhere. Tom is teaching, at Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College. We’re all OK. Knock on wood.
David told of how Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim called him recently when Pearl passed away from his battle with brain cancer, and how they shared tears and remembrances. Touching. And quite surprising.
It really was and is a community, this thing we lived and live.
What old friends have you caught up with lately? What tales did you share?