Sunday, August 15, 2010

Arrivederci, Carl Mario Nudi

Today marks the end of an era in the Bradenton Herald's newsroom. Veteran journalist Carl Mario Nudi is retiring after 44 years -- to the date -- in this biz.

Carl walked into our newsroom in 1986, with 20 years already under his belt at the Detroit Free Press. But he didn't start in a newsroom. Carl was a printer in the days of hot lead and Linotypes, when the backshop rightfully ruled. If you didn't have a good printer, you could kiss those deadlines and good-looking pages goodbye. My guess is, Carl was the best.

We had a little farewell shindig for Carl last week in the newsroom, with a lot of Italian food, good memories and more than a few tears. In his typical self-deprecating style, Carl had begged us not to make a big deal of it. But he had been loudly counting down the days for, oh, at least a couple years. We owed him the hot seat, one last time. Carl knew better, and he came prepared with a touching farewell, which we published today as his column.

We presented him with this keepsake front page, designed by news editor Jason Bartolone, who captured the essence of Carl in this handsome cover. The well-wishes of current and past coworkers flowed through two entire pages, memorializing everything from his salty retorts to, well, his days as an artist's nude model. That's our Carl.

I chose the conservative route:

You can count on Carl Mario Nudi. Period.
He’s the guy who will ask the tough question when the bosses call a meeting.
He’s the guy who will reach out to every new person and make sure they feel welcome.
He’s the guy who will rush to help without asking for anything in return.
And he’s the guy who makes us smile on even the toughest days.
Carl has made the Bradenton Herald a much richer home for journalists.
And we will miss him.

All the best to you, Carl. Your adventures have just begun.

-- 30 --

1 comment:

Vincent F. Safuto said...

The world of journalism has lost a great paisan with Carl's retirement.
Working for a startup news site in Bradenton and covering the local governments, I had the privilege to learn about how it all happened from Carl, who didn't mind helping a lost journalistic colleague learn a new craft in the business.
I was a copy editor on a competing paper in Sarasota before being laid off, and those commissioners and councilmembers were just names that I made sure were spelled right. Now I was interviewing them. Carl taught me so much. Now that I'm back on the copy desk at a newspaper in Gainesville, I remember his lessons when we're doing a late commission story. The county may be different, but the games are the same.
It was a privilege to work next to Carl at those government meetings and watch the master in action. I once told him, "I was a hack when I got here, and you helped me become almost a decent reporter."
Knowing Carl isn't out there keeping Manatee County's governments honest hurts, but he deserves his retirement.