Eddie Jones, long-time journalist and friend, today was remembered in a service at St. George's Episcopal Church in Nashville.
Probably 400 people attended the formal service and celebration, that included communion for all who wished to partake.
It was one of those joyous yet sad affairs. Many of the members of the staff of the old Nashville Banner -- Eddie was the longtime editor when that newspaper was folded as Gannett (The Tennessean) bought up and folded the junior JOA partner -- were there.
The crowd also included former mayors and political figures as well as friends from all sectors of Nashville.
For details of my friendship with Eddie, see the previous posting.
He was a great man.
One of his other close friends was journalism giant John Seigenthaler (the elder, not the former TV guy, although I like him, too).
I told a teary-eyed John that I was very sorry for his loss of a good friend.
He said he was very sorry for the loss of my good friend. I like John a lot. He genuinely deserves the high-esteem in which he is held.
Eddie would have been proud that the funeral was held at 11:30 a.m. and ended at about 12:30 -- which would have given us just enough time to get it on A1 for the Final edition.
What struck more than one of the Banner survivors (I went on to work at The Tennessean, but it didn't ever have that local-local flavor, especially after it became a completely Gannettized product when Seigenthaler retired) was that it is melancholy to see so many skilled journalists, comrades in the battle, only on such occasions.
I could have grabbed any half-dozen of them and we could have put out a better newspaper than what is being offered these days. Of course, we have no money. Most of them are in P.R. and I am three weeks shy of being unemployed when my journalist-in-residence term ends.
The few Tennessean folks who attended likely looked around and worried that someone would come up with enough money for the Banner to relaunch.
Eddie would have liked that. Course it won't happen. I'd love it too. I loved the Banner.
And the guy who helped fuel that love was sent off in high fashion today.
So long, my friend.