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George Murmann, Star Lithographer, November 21, 1918 - February 11, 2017

George Henry Murrmann passed away Saturday (Feb. 11, 2017) at his home surrounded by his loving daughters. He left the building in grand style with his loved ones singing karaoke of his favorite tunes until the end.

George Henry Murrmann was born in Perrysville, Ind., on Nov. 21, 1918, in an original Sears catalog house on the family farm. His family had moved there to farm (built the Sears model house on their own) on "Murrmann" lane, as it was known. As the youngest of 12 children, his father, George J. proclaimed, "Now I've got my dozen!"

George graduated from Danville High School in 1937 as a decorated member of the swim team. He joined the Air Corps (later known as the Air Force) in 1942 for "four years, eight months and 22 days." While in the corps, he was an instructor responsible for instrument training on airplanes.

After his service, he moved to Minneapolis to attend trade school to become a lithographer. (Linotype was once the only way type was set through a detailed process operating a large machine requiring dexterity and mechanical expertise.) After graduating, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Gannett at the Washington Star newspaper.

Eight Bells: Bobby Grieser, January 31, 2017

Bobby Grieser, well known in yachting circles as one of the elite photographers in the sport, passed away January 31 after a four month series of illnesses in San Diego, CA. He was 70 years.

Born in Washington, DC, and growing up around the Chesapeake Bay, Bobby took to the outdoor life. He was a photographer at the Washington Star in Washington, DC for 15 years before moving west to work for the Los Angeles Times, where he stayed for 18 years. Bobby covered such diverse topics as riots, war zones in Somalia and White House events over the years.

But in 1998, he left for the excitement of freelancing in the yachting, adventure, travel and leisure industries. His passion to explore and appreciate his surroundings fueled his motor. As a principle with OutsideImages.com, he helped to create a remarkable inventory of stock marine imagery.

He photographed some of the world’s most beautiful yachts, with his event log including several America’s Cups. He became good friends with Dennis Connor, did feature stories on sailing all over the world and later, some bareboat chartering as skipper. Bobby had salt water in his veins.

Attribution: sailingscuttlebutt.com

Sylvia Rector, 'tough editor' in Twin Cities who became beloved food critic in Detroit

Joe Kimball remembers it as a tense period in his career at the Star Tribune: The time when his paper squared off against the rival Pioneer Press with an aggression it had never shown before. Suddenly it wasn’t just the Minneapolis paper; it aspired to embrace the entire metro area.

A Star Tribune news bureau materialized in St. Paul, amply staffed and led by Sylvia Rector, a journalist who had been battle-tested in cities such as Dallas and Washington, where newspaper wars were the norm.

“We felt like troops landing on the beach,” said Kimball, now retired. “It was a landmark moment for the paper, and Sylvia was our field general.”


Rector, who joined the Detroit Free Press in 1992 and became well-known there as the newspaper’s food critic for 17 years, died of colon cancer on Dec. 20 at the age of 66.



Her husband, Charles Hill, a retired Associated Press bureau chief, described her as a “force of nature” as a journalist but also “a very sweet and kind person,” whose passing drew a torrent of appreciative memories from a culinary community that cherished her constructive approach in what can be a cutting line of work.

Rector grew up on a farm in Fancy Gap, Va., and attended a one-room schoolhouse. Scholarships paved her way to college.

She landed first at the Associated Press, then made a number of stops at different newspapers, including the Washington Star. She was state editor at the Dallas Times Herald, supervising reporters at the State Capitol, Austin and other big cities.

John Sherwood, Columnist and Features Writer in Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis - December 7, 2016

John Sherwood, who for more than 50 years crafted profiles on an array of working-class characters and fringy eccentrics as a columnist and features writer in Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis, died Dec. 7. He was 84.

Sherwood spent almost 20 years at the former Washington Star newspaper capturing the lives and personalities of ordinary, captivating people in print — most of whom had no idea that they were anything but ordinary. With a Runyonesque flair he brought alive the likes of ferry-boat operators, tea room waitresses, pigeon racers, Linotype workers, tool-booth trolls, tug boat drivers, and hundreds more such ilk who likely never dreamed they were important enough to decorate the pages of a big city newspaper or a magazine — as well as individuals with delusions of grandeur. Better yet, he made the reader understand their importance, too.

Consider Vera — "who won't discuss her age," — the late owner of a Polynesian-style Tiki bar and restaurant on the Patuxent River in a Sherwood piece entitled "Empress of the White Sands."