View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dick Dougherty - Thanks for the smiles

A longtime, much beloved local columnist - and a writer whom I admired -has passed on.

Dick Dougherty, who wrote for the Rochester's Times Union, and then the Democrat and Chronicle, for more than 25 years, died today at age 88.

He wrote five columns a week from 1977 to 2004 when health finally stopped him. He then published a collection of his columns - Dougherty Revisited: A Random Selection of Columns - that I own and have read several times (and some of the columns, several times more).

He had a self-deprecating sense of humor, a fondness for people, common sense, and a deep love of dogs (some of whom supplied "thoughts" and "insights" to occasional columns).

He was the old-style type of columnist that is lacking too often from papers today. He was a true gentleman.

I admired his writing. He made me want to write better. I used to read his columns for the sheer pleasure that reading good writing can give, and for the writing lessons they taught.

I dreamed of being a columnist like him, but I lacked the opportunity and the gifts to do so.

Thanks Dick for all those columns. Pet the dogs for me.


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