My long-time friend Harold Morrison recently died. Elsewhere on this site you’ll find a memorial for him. But I take it as a profound coincidence that another colleague–Morley Safer of 60 minutes fame–has also recently died.
When we first started our careers, Harold and Morley and me all worked together at The Canadian Press in what the company fondly called The Ontario Desk. We were all beginners, some of us more than others.
We worked for a tartar of an editor–Bill Boss–who was one of Canada’s most famous war correspondents of the Korean War. Not only was Bill the grammarians grammarian, he constantly toiled to make us neophytes tighten our writing and follow the CP Style book.
Morley was not exactly the professional reporter he became while working for 60 minutes. I had graduated from university and was slightly better educated that many who worked for CP. And Morley was very unsure of himself. I well remember the day when he came close to me and whispered in my ear: “George, you went to college. How do you write a night lead?” A night lead was the day’s story retold in different words for evening news consumption.
Later, when on 60 minutes we were getting on-the-scene reports from Pork Chop Hill I saw a different Morley–terrified but calm in the face of enemy fire, reporting on events in that far-off war. We had some remarkable people at CP of that era–Morley not the least of them. Hail and farewell, comrade . . .