News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mike Lunsford

November 2, 2008

The Off Season: ‘Ink still runs in former editor’s veins’

The first time that I ever sat at a desk on the third floor of the old Tribune-Star Building on Wabash Avenue, a rough and callow college kid who thought more about making meal money as a writer than actually becoming one, Jimmy Claus stood just behind me and looked over my shoulder. It was Jimmy who showed me how to use an old, electric typewriter, how to go about marking copy with those blasted red and black felt-tipped pens we used in those days, and it was Jimmy who gave me my first chance to write a real story, not just rewrite someone else’s.

I can’t pay Jimmy for what he did for me all those years ago, but I can tell you a little bit about him. We caught up over dinner last week.

Jim is 81 years old now and has had more surgeries than he can remember; he lost his wife of nearly a half-century a few years back, too. Life hasn’t been easy for him in the last decade or so, but it hasn’t been too long ago that a lot of doors were open to this avuncular and friendly man.

He started working for the Terre Haute Tribune — the town’s evening newspaper — on Jan. 1, 1957, and he spent the next 28 years writing his column, “Sporting Around.”

He was following the fortunes of the Chicago Bears, fretting about the paper’s rather unsettled weekend deadline and breaking in college kids like me.

He was born on Oct. 5, 1927, in Wichita, Kan., to Mildred and Charles Claus Sr., and newspaper ink was surely in his blood; his dad worked in advertising at the local paper and Jim was a copy boy there by the time he was in the seventh grade. It was that experience with Jack Copeland, the paper’s “crusty old sports editor,” that gave Jim the newspaper bug; I think he still has it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mike Lunsford
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010