Deadline Now: Steve Pollick
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Deadline Now: Steve Pollick

Friday, February 3, 2012

Award-winning author and writer Steve Pollick was The Blade's Outdoors Editor for 30 years. He retired last year after traveling the world on assignments for the newspaper. A fellow of the Explorers Club in New York, Mr. Pollick is the author of two collections of nature essays. His newest book is The Best of the Outdoors Page: Celebrating 15 Years of Nature in Northwest Ohio and Beyond, co-authored with Jeff Basting.

Here are host Jack Lessenberry's Final Thoughts for this edition of Deadline Now:

I consider myself a pretty decent writer, mostly because people have been paying me to do it for a living for a long time. But when I started trying to figure out how to sum up Steve Pollick’s pretty incredible career, I found that one of his colleagues had done a better job than I could – Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg.

Here’s part of what he wrote when Pollick finally decided to vacate his desk at The Blade: “Steve has been a guide for tens of thousands of readers seeking the best fishing holes and hunting ground. He has been a friend to those who use nature wisely and an environmental conscience for those who might abuse it.

“He has been a watchdog of the wildlife agencies and the bureaucrats that sometimes prefer not to be watched. But he has been so much more, too … where do you start when writing about someone who has seen the Tasmanian devil up close, who has been charged by a bull hippopotamus, who fell off a mountain in Greenland and who visited China and returned with panda bears and cholera?”

The columnist decided wisely to focus on the fact that Steve is a superb writer, and also an excellent colleague, husband, father and human being. Toledo was lucky to have him. But while I am not here to be an apologist for The Blade, I think we should be aware that we are lucky to have a newspaper that supports such reporting efforts.

The Blade has its share of flaws, and as its ombudsman, I get to write about them in the newspaper. But not many papers would pay for the kind of reporting Steve has done. Sending someone to India and Nepal to look for wild tigers isn’t exactly cheap.

When the late Paul Block Jr., appointed Steve Pollick outdoors editor nearly thirty years ago, he told him to go out in the world and try to do some good for The Blade. He more than did that, and took many thousands of us to places we’ll probably never go.

I thank him for that. Let’s all hope that in his second career, Steve Pollick keeps writing and keeps sharing his words with us.