"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
There was Jonas, the slot man, a dour veteran who sat inside the horseshoe and handed us the stories when the city editor was done. Three of us, the rim men, copy-edited and toiled over headlines. If a head sagged rather than sang, Jonas would growl, thrusting it back for another try. If it was OK, he'd just grunt. Then he'd lift his chin to bark: "Send that mother down!"
There was Chuck, the bespectacled wire editor, who used his metal ruler to tear stories off the endless sheet that stuttered from the Associated Press machine. Turning to come back to his desk, the world's news ribboning out behind him, he'd whack the fire extinguisher with the ruler. Clang! We'd jump in our seats as Chuck sang out, "Ring of truth! Ring of truth!"
And there was Jack, the assistant city editor, collar unbuttoned, necktie askew, belly swollen at his cluttered desk like a mountain looming over a village of scrap paper. I think his job was to finalize page make-up and send the dummies over to composing. Jack hummed as he worked, but every once in a while, apropos of nothing, he'd look up, pause, and say, "But, in a larger sense." A fragment from the Gettysburg Address. Sometimes he'd continue: ". . . we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can not hallow . . . .," and then stop. Usually, though, he'd flourish just the one phrase, "But in a larger sense," then go back to humming.