Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tribute to the Tulls Touching

Sunday's tribute to the late Jackie and Paul Tull, founders of The Saline Reporter and The Milan News, was truly a touching experience. Although I only met the couple once, I felt like I knew them after it was over.

Don Shelton, a former Saline official and longtime judge, was the emcee, encouraging friends and relatives to step up to a microphone to share their memories of the Tulls. This came after their son-in-law, Walt Byers, recited a prayer. View video on our Web site of the event.

Some of the stories that touched me personally related to the newspapers because those stories gave me a historic perspective. A couple of people, including cartoonist and former advertising representative Bill Mangold, talked about how Paul Tull gave him his start in publishing editorial cartoons.

Rebecca Groeb-Driskill also related a story about an internship she had there while in college and how she thought she wanted to go into newspaper publishing. After the experience, she realized it wasn't for her, but Paul Tull shared some words of wisdom. He said, "Whatever you decide to do, be sure that you love it and that you enjoy doing it. And if it's not the newspaper business, that's OK. But it's really important to find something. That's how I feel about my newspaper." Groeb-Driskill said she eventually became a teacher and is involved with theater, and has found her niche.

Also speaking were Carl Weller, Woodie Merchant and other longtime friends. Daughter Nancy Byers shared some limericks written by Paul Tull and the stories behind them.

The tribute also included the Tulls' daughter, Jody, on piano, leading Carl Weller, Lizzie Bourque, Rupert deSalis and Groeb-Driskill in song. Later, those in attendance were invited to join in a sing-a-long, one of the Tulls' favorite pastimes. They sang "That old gang of mine," "Let me call you sweetheart," "Never wait a minute" and "I'll be loving you ... always," among other songs.

I wrapped up the nine-minute video with a few words by Mangold that I thought were fitting. He said, "To me, it's the end of an era and it was the greatest era that I can recall."

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