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Farewell Ed Cullen

My first mentor in journalism, Ed Cullen of the Baton Rouge Advocate, is retiring. He’s been writing the Attic Salt column for the paper since 1974. I grew up reading him, then worked for him, and became his friend (and he, the poor bastard, the ad hoc therapist for an anxiety-ridden kid in his 20s).  This, from his farewell column, is really about the best most of us who work in journalism can hope for:

I’ve been lucky to work at something that gave me pleasure and a sense of accomplishing something, though I can’t tell you anything big that I’ve accomplished as a newspaper reporter.

If we’re lucky, we’ll accomplish something big. But if we take pleasure in our work as writers and reporters, and feel that there is meaning in what we do, that is fortunate indeed.

Ed was, and is, one of those newspapermen who really love words. They are far less common than you think, and it was such an exhilarating thing for me, as a young J-school graduate just starting out, to fall into working for a man like that. I feel sad that he’s retiring, but also happy for him, that he’s getting out just before the curtain falls.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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