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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014
I had a professor in college who taught me a lot about journalism. He taught from the overflow of his life as a reporter. He taught how to interview. He taught the difference between writing for the eye and the ear. But there’s one lesson he never taught, and for that I will not be able to forgive him.

I’m convinced Bos could have been a big fish in a big pond. He had the intellect, the charisma, the wit—the whole package. But for some reason he chose to stay in Huntington, WV and report relatively small stories, until big ones found him. He hung his hat at WSAZ-TV and hung his heart at home with his family.

Bos was one of the most contented men I have ever known. He was giving. A lot of people are talking about what a father figure he was to them. He was a mentor, a confidant, a friend, and you always had the feeling you were the most important person in the room to him. How did he do that?

When I was in high school, Bos was a judge at a forensics competition. I was a junior in high school. I can’t remember much of the competitions, but I do remember his score sheet. He gave constructive criticism throughout, but in big, bold red letters, at the top, he wrote, “Hey, you can write!”

I kept that page for many years and I can still see it in my mind. Every morning when I get up to write, those four words are in my head. Bos Johnson believed in me, and that was important because he was a man you could believe. Integrity. He shot straight. Authority. He said what he needed to say and then stopped. He knew how to use a pause in a lecture or an interview. And he was one of the few people who really listened.

Bos showed us that journalism wasn’t just about getting the story. It wasn’t even about getting it right. That was important, of course. Facts and the inverted pyramid and all that. News is change. But news always concerns people. And people mattered to Bos Johnson. Maybe that’s why so many students loved and respected him. And viewers, as well.

There are a few people in life who are irreplaceable. Bos Johnson was one of those for me and I will never forget his kindness, generosity, voice, laugh and smile. But Bos left out one lesson in the syllabus. He never taught us how to live in a world without him in it.

3 comments:

Larry Nobles said...

I didn't know him, but after reading your reflections, I wondered how my life would have been different ( and better) had I that opportunity. Sorry for our loss.

Sondra Mccarty said...

Wow.....powerful influence. Beautiful tribute and he was absolutely correct......You can write......you do a "mean" interview as well. (Meaning fantastic of course) Blessings to you and your family for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Rebecca Wayne said...

Wow big, Chris. Very touching. Don't we all wish we could mark the world for good like he did. I hope more like him are being produced somewhere. Would love that. Thank you for this.