A small part of me went to heaven earlier this week as longtime Sports Editor Nick Gholson lost his 20-month bout with cancer. Gholson worked for the Wichita Falls Times Record-News for more than 40 years.
In the journalism profession, idols are prevalent. Just a few of my idols include Abilene Reporter-News writer Bill Hart, longtime sports writer and author Al Pickett and Gholson. Gholson was one of those guys who never minced his words and he was a “tell it like it is” kinda guy. And, I never met him in person.
I can remember talking to him on the phone a few times, asking him tips, talking about old stories and athletes in the area. The one thing I remember him telling me was to “never be afraid to tell the real story.”
After hearing of his passing from my buddy Zach Duncan, I took a minute to pause. With a small exhale, a weakness kinda fell over me. I never got a chance to really tell Gholson “thank you.”
For a guy who was as busy as he was, those 15-minute phone calls he spent with me from time-to-time really meant a lot.
I mean, this dude has covered everything from six-man football to the Olympic Games.
Yet, he would take time to give a “shot in the dark” sportswriting wanna-be a few tips on honing a craft.
I have since moved on from the full-time realm of the sportswriting world, but the game is still the same when it comes to journalism. The players are just a little different.
Every now and then, my friends at the TR-N give me a shout when they get short-handed on those busy sports playoff nights and I oblige, knowing that it was their guru who helped lay the foundation for where I am today.
Gholson will be forever missed by the sports community and the community of Wichita Falls.
Although I physically never met the man, Gholson's words from a sports story influenced me enough to jump feet first into a profession that had me sitting in a chair, wiping away tears and pouring my heart out on a computer keyboard over his passing.
Why? We're a tight-knit bunch. Journalists, of all subjects, use words to show emotions. And, when one of us is called home, we go to the place that consoles us the most — a keyboard.
In closing, the TR-N's sports department will continue to move forward and be one of the best because Gholson would want it that way.
And, I'm sure, in heaven, he's writing the best sports story ever. And, he's not mincing any words. Godspeed, Nick.