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Outdoors: Dave Campbell, one of a kind | Sports News

Outdoors: Dave Campbell, one of a kind | Sports News

I went over and introduced myself and sure enough, he remembered me from the restaurant. We caught up for a minute or two and then I thanked him for starting and supporting the outdoors column, and told him I had stepped into the job after Earl retired. He replied with four words, which were more meaningful than if somebody had given an hourlong tribute. He simply said, “I enjoy your copy.”

Now, as a non-trained journalist, I’m not familiar with a lot of newspaper-related terms. Before I wrote my first column, the sports editor told me, if I’m remembering right, that I had five column inches of space. I asked him what that translates to in English, and he said to just write about 500 words.

But that day in the grocery store, I knew exactly what Mr. Campbell was telling me, and those four words washed through me the same as if Paul McCartney had told me he enjoyed my singing.

A few years later, my daughter happened to become friends with Dave’s granddaughter, and I got to reconnect with the Campbell family. We saw each other at school events, took the kids to movies, concerts, restaurants, etc. and kept in touch online.

I was saddened to get the news on Friday from Dave and Reba’s daughter Julie that he had passed away, but was comforted by the fact that he was at home with people he loved.