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A chat with Steve Young

Steve Young came to the door without his cane to greet me this morning, with one visitor going out as I was coming in. He needs the cane for getting about but only intermittently. He’s wearing a brace while his fractured pelvis and cracked vertebrae heal, but he is getting around without overmuch difficulty and going regularly to physical therapy.

He’s mildly concerned about his short-term memory and attention span, which are a little out of kilter still because of the weeks he spent under heavy sedation. But he is appalled at daytime television and holds reality TV in contempt, so we can be confident that his judgment is intact.

He listens with interest to scraps of gossip from the newsroom and nods sagely at the word that everything is going straight to hell — the normative situation at daily newspapers from time out of memory. He is eager to come back to work, expecting that he will try to return in March if his recovery from his various injuries permits.

He and his wife and eldest daughters are living in temporary quarters — you can write to them for the next few weeks or so at 6607 Parkway Drive, Baltimore, MD 21239. They are bearing one another up as they struggle to cope with the loss of Matthew and Abby.

And he is deeply grateful for the expressions of concern that have appeared on this blog and in the many letters of condolence he and the family have received. “It has made a difference,” he said. So all of you who have followed this story since that awful day in December, feeling helpless, convinced that your gifts of food or money, your cards and letters, and your prayers were inadequate, be advised: You have eased four troubled hearts.



Posted by John McIntyre at 2:07 PM | | Comments (2)


Good to hear that Steve isn't letting his standards slip concerning the dire straits of newspapering. I expect to see a marked improvement in Sun copy after March.

I think its great we've returned to the days when copy editors are again alowed to have canes at work. The ban on guns and knives at the copy desk made cents:: you don't want to have to hire new reporters -- excuse me, journalists -- all the time, they just get dumber every year. (To be fair, all editors are morally compromised drunks, but that's for another confab at the Pachyderm.) I suppose giving everyone a discount card for the Y gym so they could work off aggression at some papers was well-meaning, if typically modern corporation nerdy, You don't see Bunk and the boys heading for the pool after a good bust, and only the sales dept. shows up with any regularity. Ever since some poor scribe misconjucated Caesar's romp across the Ruben, copy editors have used kanes or walking sticks made of the best hardwood to enforce the style book. Steve Young with a weapon is perfectly O'Kay.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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