Monday, January 28, 2008

The Argus Observes --- The dean of the valley’s newspaper men moves on

By Don Lynch
From the Jan. 29, 1953 issue of The Argus-Observer

Today’s Argus-Observer announces that Earle Sample, the dean of the lower Snake River Valley’s newspaper men, will take over the management of the Payette Independent Enterprise.

He leaves his post as advertising manager here at the Argus-Observer in Ontario to take over operation of the Payette newspaper effective Monday.

Earle was an early college journalism product. He was graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism in 1917, only a few years after the department was founded.

Suspicious editors, jealous of the skills of their trade, then regarded journalism graduates as a species of freaks, not to be trusted on a newspaper staff. Earle had to keep quiet about how well he was trained in order to keep working.

He worked at his trade in many capacities as a reporter, a printer, an advertising man, a promoter, a publicity man and an editor and publisher. For over 25 years he ran his own paper in Weiser until his health failed and he sold it. Relieved of this work load, he regained his health. Now in excellent health, he returns to the management of a newspaper again.

Our staff will miss him because he commands affection along with respect.

Individuals differ widely in their aptitudes for relations with other people. I don’t know what Earle’s formula is but the results are unusually good.

He stands out as a good person. I have never heard him say an unkind word about anyone in his year of service at the Argus-Observer. For an advertising salesman who receives many rebuffs in the course of his work, that is quite remarkable.

A witty Scotchman, Earle holds Bobby Burns up as his personal hero. Sample is always thinking up a practical joke. I am sure that Democrat Les Downie was a long time figuring what fellow Democrat sent him the hundreds of left over Stevenson buttons after the campaign ended.

One of Sample's cutest gags showed up at Christmas time. He sent post cards to his accounts --- just ordinary post cards --- with a message congratulating the recipient on being a booster for Ontario and ending with this verse:

Since a Scotchman’s author O’ this verse
And ten fold duty it must do,
He’s wishing you a Merry Christmas
From now ’till sixty-two.

Thus did sample for two cents wish his friends a Merry Christmas for ten years. In some cases he even borrowed the letterhead from his customers and left the message typed in their typewriters. How he delighted in this joke. And how could a Scotchman get more for his money?

I shall personally miss Earle because he was a kind of office father to the staff and to me. When he thought any of us were falling short of adequate performance, he had a gentle way of pointing out our oversight. And his wealth of experience was helpful. He has taught us some worthwhile lessons in our year of association.

It is good for a young manager of any enterprise to have a senior member of the staff who can steer him around certain pitfalls. And I have many times appreciated Earle’s guidance.

All of us at the Argus-Observer will wish Earle Sample the best of everything in his operation of the Independent Enterprise at Payette.

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