Friday, March 31, 2023


It fills the hole …

By Johnny D. Boggs

Frank Luksa was a longtime sports columnist when I joined the Dallas Times Herald staff in 1984. And I have used one of his sayings a lot over the years.

It even came to mind now and then after Charlotte Hinger talked me into blogging for Type M for Murder every other week for six months. As many of you know, it’s hard to tell Charlotte NO!

Well, six months ends today.

And this Western novelist-magazine writer-photographer-wannabe songwriter-film historian-former newspaper journalist and hack – the same guy who used to tell anyone who asked, “I write for a living. I don’t have time to blog.” – figured something out.

I can blog.

Well, maybe it was never provocative, awe-inspiring or halfway good, but I hope you got something out of it once in a while. A laugh. Or … If This Guy Can Write For A Living, Anybody Can.

Shucks, I even told Charlotte to hit me up again if she needs to. Just let me get through the projects I must finish this year. Including one deadline that, oh boy, is tomorrow.

Sure, I didn’t always figure out how to get the blog posted right. But that’s because my college-junior-techno-savvy son wasn’t around to help. Hey, I started out on a manual Smith Corona. (Sometimes I wish we still used typewriters.)

And I found myself reading Type M For Murder blogs, too. Learning. Laughing. Nodding. Blogging has a purpose.

You folks have talent. Keep it up. I might not be posting, or even commenting, but you can bet I’ll be reading when I can.

Back to Frank Luksa.

Frank had also worked at the Fort Worth Press, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (where I went after the Times Herald folded). After the Herald was being turned into a parking lot, he moved to the Dallas Morning News, where he kept sharing his opinions till he retired in 2004. He died at age 77 in 2012.

He covered the Dallas Cowboys, beginning with their inaugural season in 1960, and kept writing about them throughout his career. It didn’t take me more than a year in Dallas to grow to hate the Dallas Cowboys and loathe football in general. Frank covered the Seoul Olympics in 1988. He would file his column, call in, and if I happened to be editing his piece, as soon as we had OK’d everything, he would have me transfer the call to his home so he could talk to his wife.

When the newspaper closed three years later, I wondered if those long-distant charges had something to do with it.

But I always liked Frank. Hey, I liked columnist Skip Bayless, too. Both were professionals.

Skip was a wordsmith. You went over any changes you made with him. Frank, well, he had seen just about everything. And often, when he filed a column, he would tell me:

“It fills the hole – if not the need.”

Borrowing Frank’s saying and the newspaper symbol -30- (for END OF STORY) is a good way to sign off. 



Anna Chapman said...

Johnny, good fortune with your deadline. I've enjoyed your posts and hope to see them again, whenever. I'm also a nostalgic veteran of typewriters, having learned on a Royal office standard in high school, along with 19 other learners. Oh, the music we could make when we did the exercises in unison, and how our fingers grew strong from workouts on those non-electronic keys. Be well.

Janet Dawson said...

I have really enjoyed your posts, Johnny.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Johnny, you've been an outstanding addition to Type M. I've loved your posts! I remember years ago when NY editors flocked to WWA, Greg Tobin (Bantam) said he liked to find novelists who had a background in journalism.

I once told my daughter Michele to go English for the education, and journalism to get rid of the nonsense. If she stayed with the English, she wouldn't be able to write a note to the milkman without revising it fifteen times. She has a double degree in English and Journalism.