Updated: Feeling Losses

The Oklahoman, the largest newspaper in the state, in May.
The Oklahoman, the largest newspaper in the state, in May.

This item has been updated to include a scathing editorial about The Oklahoman from The Lost Ogle (link.)

Last May after I covered the Byng Pirates state championship game in Edmond, Oklahoma, I went by the offices of The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper, and visited for a while with my longtime friend and fellow photographer Jim Beckel. He told me about the paper’s early-90s move to a huge, expansive and expensive facility on the Broadway extension, which for years we called “the Taj Mahal,” and the paper’s move a few years ago to a much smaller facility in the center of downtown Oklahoma City.

I stole this film-era selfie from Steve's Facebook wall. My career and Steve's are roughly contemporary.
I stole this film-era selfie from Steve’s Facebook wall. My career and Steve’s are roughly contemporary.

The move to downtown represented a cascade of downsizing at The Oklahoman, and today we learned that 35-year veteran photographers Steve Gooch and Paul Hellstern were laid off. I was a little stung by this news, though not surprised.

Steve and Paul are brilliant photographers, and I am sympathetic with their plights. So many of their photographs are like so many of mine, and I was once laid off, in 1988, so I am feeling particularly empathetic.

In my opinion, in a world of billions of not-very-good photos every day, photojournalists provide one of the last sources for truly great photography.

Finally, my friend Tracy Nicole Holman passed away today after a lengthy illness. She was young and beautiful and I was always glad to see her.

The last thing she posted to social media was, “Eating a piece of candy found in the jeans that had a run through the washer…. I’ll live, right??!!”

I am feeling very sad that she is gone. She was just 31.

Tracy Holman, whose radio DJ name was Tracy Nicole, died today. She is pictured here in 2008 holding her guitar, "Gypsy."
Tracy Holman, whose radio DJ name was Tracy Nicole, died today. She is pictured here in 2008 holding her guitar, “Gypsy.”
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5 Comments

  1. I am very sorry about the loss of your friend Tracy. I really hate to see anyone get laid off especially at a newspaper job. I worked at the Taj Mahal back in the 90s and early 2000s. Actually I worked at a district office but I did have to go to the office on the Broadway Extension quite often. I miss the Golden Age of newspapers.

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  2. I Googled Miss Holman’s obituary/guestbook, and came across this condolence: “May God soften your sadness with remembered joys”. I love that and will use it next time I feel at a loss for words of comfort. I’m really sorry for your — and the world’s — loss.

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