Matt Turner and Craig O'Neill
Sunday morning and Dawn Scott was on the phone. But, this was not the voice I know so well. This one was hoarse, overwrought by emotion, and between sobs she told me about the accident that had killed our new colleague Matt Turner. Just 72 hours ealier Dawn and I were consumed by laughter that had rendered us speechless, but now we were both speechless again for a different reason. As Dawn and I took our own emotional inventory, we both realized there were duties that needed to be met, and we hung up.
His life had just begun to take root at THV. We all liked what we were seeing. I called it a casual professionalism. There was a sense of ease with whatever situation we were putting him in. I watched him Thursday night at a Ducks Unlimited banquet where he broadcasted live, and how he had that wonderful all Arkansas trait of never meeting a stranger. Of how he took a keen interest in whatever he was being asked to cover, from politics to duck calls.
A newsroom is a jigsaw puzzle of interlocking pieces, that form an overall picture. Matt had just opened his box, and we had just begun the process of putting all that into place, when this happened. We will, all of us, at Today's THV, and the many many many people that were touched by Matt, always wonder what that puzzle, when put together, would've looked like. It would've been magnificent!
When Dawn called, my wife and I were watching a news talk show about the Presidential debates; my newspaper was open to a write up of the Razorback game; I looked forward to reading the editorial page. How insignificant it all seems now.