Curtis Dahlgren
Have we finally reached the stomach-turning point?
By Curtis Dahlgren
May 10, 2024

I LEARNED ABOUT WRITING by reading two favorite columnists, Jim Murray on sports, and Jenkin Lloyd Jones on current events. Jones frequently sighed and cried, “Have we reached the stomach-turning point yet?” There’s nothing new under the sun, but it’s getting pretty crazy out there. First, a look back.

Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Sr., was the longtime owner and editor of the Tulsa Tribune. In 1933, Jones earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. Jones was the editor of the Tulsa Tribune from 1941 to 1988, and its publisher until 1991. Wikipedia—Born: November 1, 1911, Died: February 24, 2004; his obituary:

    (AP) Jenkin Lloyd Jones Sr., the former editor and publisher of the now-defunct Tulsa Tribune, died Tuesday at 92, his family said. Jones, who was also a syndicated columnist, died at his Tulsa home, said his son, David Jones. Jones began working for the afternoon daily, which was owned and published by his father, Richard Lloyd Jones, Sr., in 1933 as a reporter. He served as the paper's editor from 1941 to 1988 and was a publisher until 1991. The paper folded the following year after a 51-year joint operating agreement with the morning Tulsa World collapsed.

    Jones was a president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1956 and was elected to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 1972. Jones was also president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1969. His Saturday column, written from a moderately conservative perspective, appeared in more than 100 papers nationwide, his family said. "He could put the dagger in you with tongue in cheek as well as any man I've ever read," David Jones said.

    As a reporter, Jones covered the Nuremberg Trials and interviewed the missionary Albert Schweitzer in Africa. His father, who was also publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, bought the Tulsa Democrat in 1919. The paper's name was changed a year later . . .

    "It was a family newspaper in every sense of the word," said David Jones, who was Washington correspondent and entertainment editor. Ah, the good old days before the corruption of the J-schools of this country! A sample of his dad’s writing:

      “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” ? Jenkin Lloyd Jones

I was going to include a long list of today’s stomach-turning crises, but you already know what those are (not the least of which are endless foreign wars, porous borders, and moral decline).

P.S. I was shocked to find out today that my literary hero was a native of Madison, Wisconsin. Also I’m amazed to find out that there’s a family connection to the Wrights – as in Frank LLOYD Wright – and that a 19th century Jenkin Lloyd Jones once lived at Ixonia, Wisconsin, not far from where I grew up.

    “Jenkin Lloyd Jones was born near Llandysul, a farming town in Cardiganshire, Wales. He was the seventh of ten children born to Richard Lloyd Jones and Mary Thomas James. In 1844, the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Ixonia, Wisconsin, supported by his brother, also named Jenkin.” – Wikipedia

PPS: Isn’t it a pleasure to get your mind off the problems of “current” events for a few minutes?

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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