Our Miami Daily News was the city's first newspaper, and when I was 15, began writing three teenage columns a week, hired by women's editor Martha Lummus, whose husband Newt was Dade County Tax Assessor. With me, she was dealing in pennies. I got 15 cents an inch. Those paid by the inches of type their words measured were known as "stringers." (I strung along for three years.)
I just read where The Barbara Walters of TV fame is going to retire in May 2014 from ABC TV. When we met at Lou's Miami Beach night club, Copa City, she was 24; I was a year younger than Barbara. I had graduated from Miami Edison High School a month after I turned 17 and entered college (UM) on a Panhellenic scholarship that fall. In my first two college years I became summer Hurricane editor and my 1953 IBIS yearbook won one of five national ACP awards.
Reuters says Walters has more than five decades as one of the most prominent figures on U.S. television. Walters, the creator and host of ABC's talk show "The View," had suffered health issues recently, including fainting and hitting her head in January, and then was diagnosed with chicken pox, causing her to miss more than a month of work.
It may sound unkind to some but Barbara didn't have admirers then. Zilch personality. Nothing like she would eventually become after years of coaching and facial embroidering.