October 19th, 2008
Fort Worth’s newest member
By Dave Aeikens
Traditions are important in life and in organziations such as SPJ. With the 100th anniversary coming up, it’s a great time to talk about traditions and history. On Friday, I upheld one in SPJ that I can’t seem to track its origin. The tradition says the the SPJ national president will make his or her first visit to Fort Worth, Texas. Before I left, someone said it goes back 60 years. One Fort Worth member said that Phil Record, who served in 1983-1984, started the annual trip to Fort Worth. That’s not quite 60 years. Whenever it started, Fort Wort has a great group and a strong chapter. I continued the tradition for SPJ presidents and the chapter once again gave the president a very nice plaque with my name and date on it. It holds a branding iron that has my initials on it.
I had only carry on luggage for my short trip to Texas so I had to take the contraption through the airport security. The TSA looked at it a bit and then let it pass. Before boarding the plane, I stuffed the iron inside the backpack that was holding my clothes and found a way to fit the wooden holder under the seat. It is safely in Minnesota.
And while in Fort Worth, I continued a tradition of my own. I laid out the cash to join the Fort Worth chapter. It’s something President-elect Kevin Smith and I did when we visited the resurgent Maryland Pro Chapter in July. I can’t wait to get the first newsletter.