Sunday, September 9, 2007

Goodbye, David Klement

Hello again,
Speaking of Kris Kristofferson, did you realize he toured this summer at age 71? That's amazing. Maybe there should be a new term for people with that kind of staying power. "Senior'' just doesn't seem adequate.

Which brings me to the topic I really wanted to mention today: the departure of David Klement as the Herald's editorial page editor. I hope you saw the story on him in today's paper or at

As he mentioned in the story, David refuses to acknowledge he is 67. And if you didn't know he was that age, you wouldn't believe it. He has been involved in a diet regimen and fitness program for some time and he has never looked better in the eight years I've known him.

I once knew a man in his sixties whose daily regimen included pole-vaulting in a sawdust pit beside his house. (He'd first sip a small glass of red wine to get the juices flowing.) He advised me: "Stay active. If you rest, you rust.''

What's really encouraging is that people David's age who remain active, motivated and productive can continue to create opportunities for themselves. You certainly can't accuse David's new employer, the University of South Florida's Sarasota-Manatee campus, of age discrimination. Age be damned, they made a smart hire.

This is David's last week at the Herald, so be sure to check in with him and read his final editorials and column. We'll keep you posted as we plan a community tribute for him for his 32 years of service at the Herald.


1 comment:

Larry Adams said...

A Farewell to David Klement

Say it “aint” so! Can we really be losing our beloved Editorial page Editor? Standing ovations, raucous applause and gold watches would fall far short of expressing sufficient gratitude for the three decades of sterling service David Klement has provided this medium.

Incredibly, David is not retiring as one might expect after a long and successful journalism career. He is instead moving on to another career. He will be Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus. They will be getting a bargain regardless of salary.

Being a reader patron of the Bradenton Herald for over 40 years places me in a position to validly critique the publication. His Opinions page is not only a favorite feature of the daily paper but it chokes efforts of all other local ink mediums to compete. Speaking of choking, I’m guessing the size of the collective throat lumps presently affecting Herald employees and its readers would be Guinness book material if it were measurable. David will be dearly missed by a multitude of coworkers and readers.

I have been a “letter” contributor to his Opinions page for many years and have authored occasional guest columns appearing there. My personal dealings with David have never been less than enjoyable. His demeanor may best be described as one of serious devotion tempered by an impish sense of humor. I recall him phoning me once after I submitted an article to him. He asked me to edit the piece for brevity. Without first thinking about what I was saying I redundantly asked if the article was too long. Seizing the moment he dryly said, “no not really, it just has too many words”.

My first impression of David indicated to me he was very naive. I thought him to possess the kind of naivety associated with well-educated persons who lack life experiences to temper their education. I was exactly wrong. I mistook his non-assuming posture and gently nature for naivety. Ironically it is that non-assuming character quality that made him perfect for his Opinions page job. Fairness and equal opportunity for pro and con expression appears to be the basic structural guideline David always followed.

David’s readily displayed wry smile belies his true serious nature and for valid reason causes one to expect a sense of humor. But David is also a humble person and far too modest to personally approve these lines for publication on “his” pages. So I had to stick this verbal salute on this “blogspot”.

I find it difficult to wish David good luck in his new job endeavor. Instead, I am joining the ranks of myriad sore losers he is leaving behind. I refer to those of us sore in heart from losing him. Oh, what the heck. Good luck David.

J Larry Adams
Bradenton Florida