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April 18, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: Barney Gallagher never drifted from the news

(Continued)

Twenty-five years later, there he was again, welcoming my daughter to the paper, fresh out of journalism school and looking to start her career. Truth of the matter was, Barney made it a ritual to welcome every cub reporter.

Through his inspiration, off she went in later years to become city editor of The Newburyport News and managing editor of The Newburyport Magazine.

Scorers of young journalists came under his wing, him as a trustworthy guide. He gave you his time and his experience, valuable tools not found in a college text.

You would often see him lunching with Jim Simmons, another esteemed cohort. Together, they would solve the problems of the press, secure the city from its loopholes, speak great words and suffer noble sorrows.

He once gave me a great piece of advice and I've heeded it all along. "Nobody remembers what you wrote last week," he told me. "It's the next story that counts. Seize the moment."

It is the task of this industry Barney so dutifully served to remember him for the examples he set and for the legacy he leaves behind.

Well done good and faithful servant.

• • •

Photographer and writer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.

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