End of an era


I highly recommend you reading the AJC’s tribute to Furman Bisher, who retired after 60 years of writing columns. If you are a columnist like me it will make you sad because Bisher is the end of an era when columnists were movers and shakers.

Today, we’re just trying to get our tweets and blogs done.

I’ve known Furman for some time, mostly from covering The Masters and Fla-Ga. He’s as nice a guy as you ever want to be around and an eloquent writer. I was always jealous of him because he was tight with the big boys of golf in the day — Jack and Arnie.

My favorite Furman story was the time he was sitting in the huge ampitheatre where we watch scores and TV highlights at Augusta National. A fellow AJC writer was looking at the TV when Kirk Triplett flashed on the screen wearing a floppy hat.

“Who the bleep would wear a hat like that on purpose?” the writer asked.

He looked to his right and there was Furman wearing the exact same hat. Furman never blinked, never got angry, just ignored the insult and went on working.

I am jealous of Furman again today. He wakes up every morning with nothing to do.


  1. My grandfather, Ralph T. Jones, was assocate editor and then acting editor of the Atlanta Constitution until Ralph McGill returned from WWII. McGill went on to great fame as the paper’s publisher. My grandmother compiled a stack of “string books” of my Papa Jones’ column, Silhouettes, and I read them in depth as a young teen. But my other writing hero was Furman Bisher. Bisher and my Papa became my teachers. It was because of those two men, and the warmth of Rae O. Weimer, that I attended and graduated from the College of Journalism at UF. Much of my approach to writing comes from studying Furman, and though I speak publicly far more than I write, my debt to Mr. Bisher runs deep. Thanks for your tribute to one of the South’s great sports writers and for rekindling all sorts of good memories for me. And I enjoy your writing quite a bit, too.