Tyson’s Thoughts: Hangin’ with J.R.

Tyson’s Thoughts: Hangin’ with J.R.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as good as J.R. was, and frankly still is, at journalism.

I attended an editor’s conference in Parksville recently, and I happened to end up sitting next to the North Island newspaper legend himself, good ol’ J.R. Rardon.

Whenever I get nervous, I immediately start cracking jokes, hoping it will lighten the mood.

The first thing I said to him was “you know how many times I’ve heard someone say ‘well, when J.R. was here he did it differently!’”

He burst out laughing and the mood was immediately lightened.

It was really intimidating talking to him, though. Back when I first started as a reporter at the Gazette, sports were my main coverage area, and I looked through previous issues to familiarize myself with all the local teams.

That was when my heart sunk deep in my chest and I couldn’t breathe.

I read J.R.’s articles, saw how drop dead gorgeous his photographs were, and I knew there was no way I could ever fill his shoes.

Even now, after almost two years of nonstop writing and taking pictures, I still think I’m stuck in his shadow.

No matter how hard I try, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as good as J.R. was, and frankly still is, at journalism.

There’s a reason he was made the editor of the Parksville/Qualicum Beach newspaper this year.

His sports coverage while he lived here on the North Island was exemplary, with my favourite article of his being the one he wrote on the 2013 Seven Hills Golf Club’s Men’s Open.

Port Alice’s Rory Bondue claimed the low gross crown that year, and pro golfer Kevin Black unofficially shot the course record with a 61 (there was maintenance being done on the first hole which made it shorter, so Jim Smith’s 62 he shot in 1995 still stands to this day as the official club record).

I wasn’t at the event, but somehow J.R. made me feel like I was.

All the great details and word choices he used made the article flow perfectly, and it brought the images to life inside my head.

I’ve tried to recreate that same flow so many times in so many different stories, but I don’t think I’ve ever been able to truly pull it off.

Living in the shadow of someone else’s greatness is a tough thing to deal with.

I’ve spent many an hour trying to find new ways to get better at my craft, in order to somehow reach his level of professionalism and relevance.

After talking with him at the conference, I also found out he is also an incredibly nice and humble person, who had nothing but good things to say about his time spent reporting on the North Island.

I also learned a very valuable lesson about not comparing myself to others who have done this job previously.

You should never hold yourself up to another person’s accomplishments – believe in yourself and focus on achieving your own goals.

In the end, it will make you a much happier person.

Anyways enough from me, I’ll sign off by saying J.R. said to say hello to the North Island communities, and he also mentioned he might come back one day for a visit, so if you ever see him around town, be sure to tell him how much you miss him.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read