Skip Hess 'going to the show'

Dateline: Tue 10 Jan 2012

Longtime Indianapolis News and later Indianapolis Star reporter Howard "Skip" Hess, who has worn both investigative and fishing hats, has been inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Skip, who probably worked harder and had more fun than anyone I ever saw in the Star newsroom.

Hess' induction ceremony will be April 28 in Bloomington on the IU campus, where the Hall of Fame is now located (it formerly was at DePauw University in Greencastle).

Here's some of what Skip had to say about his success in receiving this honor, which he incorrectly credits to various editors and colleagues:

"Dear fellow newsies,

"Had I know how much all of you editors cared for me, I would have asked for raises, which I would have never gotten. Or is it 'never would have gotten?'

"As for you writers, I would have asked Hunter Thompson to drop by your homes for an extended stay.

"And for you, Gloria Gayle, you're my honey and I love you.

"I thank all of you very much.

"Without you, this would not be possible. Or is it, 'This would not be possible without you?'

"My 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Mays, once told me at the beginning of a 40-minute class to diagram a sentence on the blackboard. I confessed that I had been day dreaming when she told us how and that I could not do it.

"She told me to go to the hall and close the classroom door. She came out a couple of minutes later with a bag of Christmas cards.

'I knew you couldn't do it. I needed somebody to run down to the post office (four blocks away) and mail these. Get your butt back here and stand here in the hall before the bell rings ...and mums the word to your pals, got it?'

"To this day, I can't diagram a sentence. But I did learn how to keep information confidential. I never told. Until now.

"Then there is the time that Miss Wallace, my junior English teacher and a fine-looking, single young lady, made the mistake of asking me what I would charge her to mow her lawn all summer.

"You're right, Nancy. I was, and I am, incorrigible.




Say what you want about journalists, we know how to have fun. (The subject of which job is more fun came up in a conversation about Facebook and its uses with a young physician the other day; doctors, she explained, have to be cautious and would never dream of saying a word about a patient or any ethical matter on FB. Journalists always get to let it hang out....again, not a profession. Crafty craft.

Here are some of the players who nominated Skip: Kathleen Johnston, Gerry Langosa, Nancy Comiskey, Joe Hallinan and myself. Kathy, Gerry and Skip did major investigative stuff at the News, where Nancy was his editor. Then when the two papers -- Star and News -- merged, Nancy was again his editor in features, and I was his sub-editor. Pulitzer Prize winner Joe Hallinan -- just a corrigible fishing buddy.


Ray Moscowitz [unverified] said:

I enjoyed reading about Skip Hess being chosen for the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. Thank you.

For the record, he will not be officially inducted, along with four other people, until April 28.

More information about the IJHF may be obtained by going to its website.

Ray Moscowitz

2012-01-10 13:33:11

hendy [Member] said:


2012-01-10 14:49:22

ruthholl [Member] said:

Thanks, Ray. I will go to website.

2012-01-10 18:11:07

Ray Moscowitz [unverified] said:

You're welcome, Ruth. Thanks for the follow-up.

2012-01-11 09:17:46

Matthew Hess [unverified] said:

Good stuff, Ruthie.

I'm extremely proud of Dad's career and am so happy that his work will live on in perpetuity in the Hall. As a print news junkie, I can genuinely say that he is my all-time favorite writer. I'm 34 now and honestly don't recall misssing a single byline of his since I learned to read. Unfortunately, that was only 10 years ago so apparently I missed some of his best stuff. Those Hess genes run deep.

In all seriousness though, thank you for all you've done to support Dad throughout his career and beyond. You're powerful nominating letter undoubtedly played a role in his induction. I know first-hand that Dad thinks the world of you and I hope you'll be able to share in this honor with him come April.

Thanks again,
Matt Hess

2012-01-12 02:09:34

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Way to go, Skip! I carry this image of you sitting in that middle desk at the cop shop. Trusnik on the phone, you on the phone, and me, sitting there, paranoid, wondering what story you were about to beat me on. You are a great journalist and one heck of a fine writer.

2012-01-12 09:02:01

He ain't heavy, he's ... [unverified] said:

It was with considerable pride that I learned Skip Hess is to be inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. It is an honor well deserved. Aside from the many writing awards he has won, his determination and investigative skills helped right numerous wrongs and exposed corruption.

Selection to the Hall of Fame is not a popularity or beauty contest (Skip would fare well in the former but fall short in the latter). Recognition by a jury of his peers validates decades of hard work and dedication to his craft.

In 24 years at The Indianapolis News, it was my good fortune to know and work with several other Hall of Fame members from The News, among them Gene Pulliam, Harvey Jacobs, R.K. Shull, Ed Ziegner, Fremont Power, Jack Averitt and Clay Trusty. Now Skip’s name is rightfully added to the illustrious list.

I mentioned having a sense of pride at his selection. As you know, Ruthie, but other bloggers might not, Skip is my brother.

Envious? Not at all, I’m used to it. You see, he also was Mom’s favorite son.

Proud of you, bro.

J.B. Hess

2012-01-16 14:04:37

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