Do you remember the first major turning point in your life?
It’s easy for me: April Fool’s Day, 50 years ago yesterday.
At 8:54 a.m. on April 1, 1964, I parked my ’62 Chevy Impala in front of the Sears store on East Clinton Street in Frankfort, Ind., and thought to myself, "What am I doing here?"
It was no joke. I had driven from teeming Los Angeles to tranquil Frankfort after accepting a job offer. It would be my first job in daily journalism.
For a minute or two, I gazed across the street at the narrow, nondescript, three-story building that needed a good night’s sleep. It housed the Frankfort Morning Times.
I walked into the lobby and was directed to the newsroom, a tiny space on the second floor, where I met my new boss, Vance Sappenfield, from Linton, Ind.
My life would change forever.
After 17 months, I moved on from grassroots journalism to big-city newspapering at the Dayton Journal Herald in Ohio. A big change.
Some four years later, while in Dayton, I would marry the woman who has been my life partner for more than 45 years. A significant change.
And 18 months later, to the day we said our vows, our son would be born — seven weeks early. A major change.
Career opportunities developed, including a return to Frankfort as managing editor of the Morning Times after Nixon Newspapers Inc. bought the newspaper. A huge change.
For the next 30 years there were notable changes — moving four times as my career with NNI developed, major assignments that took me to places in the United States and abroad, technological advancement in the newspaper industry, moving from the news department to the business side as a publisher.
All because of that day a half century ago yesterday.
“Did you have a good trip?” Sappenfield asked after we greeted.