Monday, May 01, 2006

They don't hand out esplanades to just anyone

And now for an entry from the Cool Things My Friends Have Done File: My friend Gordon just had an esplanade -- that's a fancy name for a walkway -- named after him at Centralia College in Washington state. Gordon wrote humor columns for the University of South Dakota student newspaper about 50 years before I did, and he still writes humor columns for his hometown paper. He e-mails them to me every week, and I then forward them to others, usually with a little comment at the top -- usually something like, "I JUST LOVE GORDON!" or "DON'T YOU JUST LOVE GORDON?"

One of Gordon's USD classmates was Al Neuharth, who founded USA Today, and who gave a go-zillion dollars for the Al Neuharth Center on campus as well as the journalism scholarships that paid for Jay and me to go to school. Al showed up unexpectedly for Gordon's esplanade ceremony in a giant limo. You have to love Al. He would swoop into USD once a year with Larry King or Tom Brokaw or someone and buy everyone steak. I'm guessing he still does.

On a side note, if any of you out in the blogosphere know any high school students who are interested in journalism, USD still awards the Neuharth Scholarship. Click here and then scroll down for more info.

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