Despite my easy-on-the-tongue “professional writer” moniker today, back in 1985, 86, 87 and 88, I went by my birth name, Gregory Robert Krzos. I came aboard the Sate Press when Cindy Pearlman was Entertainment Editor and quickly found myself writing about theater, the arts, and film. From the get go, I knew that I was “home” at the State Press … for where else could I find such a unique portal that would allow me to express myself in such a creative way? After becoming assistant entertainment editor under Khali Crawford, I became the Entertainment Editor and, during one summer spell, the Managing Editor of the State Press.
MEMORIES. Pick, pluck and choose from the brief smorgasbord below.
MEETING WALTER CRONKITE. Yes—the icon himself! Imagine, to our surprise, when ASU morphed into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. There, in the basement newsroom that was the State Press, the man arrived one morning and spoke with the staff. Leaning against one of the desks near the middle office — the editor’s office — Cronkite folded his arms across his chest and spoke of the responsibilities of the journalist; and for “finding the story … stepping into what the story really was.” For asking the right questions, for in doing that, we could extract from our sources/interviewees what was so rather than what we thought something to be or what we thought people/ readers wanted to hear. What a moment——that Cronkite moment was and the entire Journalism school seemed to glow with a newfound pride. And looking back on that today, recalling his words on being authentic and having integrity, I can’t help but wonder what happened with most modern media, which seems to have been bled dry of such qualities.
FINDING THE BRADY BUNCH, THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY AND THE CAST OF GILLIGAN’S ISLAND: Entertainment editor, I, my quest to interview the three guilty TV pleasures of college students ran more than a year and a half. It took that long to locate each and every one of them, interview them by phone and weave together a massive special issue dubbed WHERE ARE THEY NOW? On the wall beside my desk, I would tape a picture of each BRADY I interviewed until I had that entire GRID up there. Fellow State Pressers encouraged me—after all, they were growing tired of my pursuits and wanted that damn BRADY tic tac toe box complete. Finally, it came to pass …
NIGHTMOVES AT MATTHEWS HALL: For the majority of us — young, full of pluck and eager to learn — The State Press was our home. I cannot recall how many times I skipped classes for a story (Not recommended!! ) But I had that much passion to write, to express myself. So did the majority of our crew at that time in 1986/87. It’s rare when a group of people can work together and, as a unit, form somewhat of a remarkable cohesive unit—and not kill each other in the process of getting work done. We had those moments. We all gelled. Often we’d stay late to get the job done. One occasion, perhaps for a special issue of some kind, the majority of us found ourselves working past 8 or 9 in the evening. To let of some steam, somebody pressed play on the boom box (so … some among you may need to google that and see what that actually was) and boom — “Walk Like An Egyptian” blew through the speakers. And walk like an Egyptian we did — it began dancing through the entire office in a kind of Egyptian conga line… and then quickly spilled out into the halls, up the staircases, into the “haunted” realms of the building — back rooms on upper levels and then back down to the basement for another round. We were tight, yes. More importantly, we had become “family.”
There’s more—there’s always more…. but should this make its way to you and beyond, a big thanks for taking time to read through this and consider these memories as the State Press, much like that day when CRONKITE appeared before our eyes, reaches yet another milestone.