You will be remembered as a great traveling companion, full of fun and good cheer. I will treasure the good times my husband and I had with Wanda and you on our many trips together and get-togethers in Memphis.
I fondly remember John as my first boss at Memphis Publishing back in the early 60's. He gave me a start in photography which became my career for more than 40 years. I will always be indebted to him for starting me on that path when I was young & fresh out of the Navy. My condolences to all of John's family & friends....Paul Headden ...Tannenbaum, AR
It appears that I am going to be unable to make the drive across the state to attend John's memorial. John meant a great deal to me, and I would have liked to have been at this event – as I feel in some ways that John is a part of me.
John Anderson was one of the first persons that I met when I arrived in Memphis in January, 2002. I had accepted a job as Marketing Information Manager at The Commercial Appeal to replace John. We were both wearing Mickey Mouse watches that day. He greeted me with a welcoming smile as he enjoyed revealing his Disney wrist watch. I knew instantly that we were of kindred spirits and that I was in good hands.
Frankly I needed to be in some good hands. I had accepted a job that was a bit like jumping into the middle of the ocean without a raft. I knew that I was a very good swimmer, but it was a very big ocean.
I had a lot to learn, and fortunately The Commercial Appeal agreed to retain John for a spell to keep me from drowning. He did just that. He was my guardian angel, my safety net, my local expert, my friend, and most importantly my teacher – for probably longer than he would have liked.
Each day he would rescue me from the tasks of the day, to remind me that I should take a break and get something to eat. In truth, those lunch breaks filled my head more so than my stomach. I was not shy about asking questions, and John graciously mentored me with his over three decades of experience. I learned about Memphis, about Scripps, about history, about the Navy, about Italy, and mostly about the art and science of what we do.
Research is both a science and an art. It takes a person that has both a strong right and left side to their brain – to truly thrive. John was just that. He was very versatile, and he demonstrated to me the art of being a one-man-orchestra. During my 22 years at The Orlando Sentinel (previous job) – that paper's research division ranged in size from eight people to as many as twenty people. From John I learned that one man can do the work of many. That lesson was a big transformation for me, and it forced me to become more versatile and grow more as a person. John played a big role in encouraging that transformation.
That transformation started within the first few hours on the job. A Sales Manager from the ad department made his welcome by telling me that he had an appointment with a tire account and that I had two days in which to prepare something for that account. At that moment I did not even have a computer that worked, but John calmly mentored me through that moment. That tire presentation became the first of what has now been tens of thousands of Scripps market data requests that I have addressed.
In 2002 the Ad Director for the paper, use to call me Lieutenant Dan- the character from the movie Forest Gump that had lost his legs in battle. He would chuckle and say when he saw me, “Lieutenant Dan, you got legs.” Well he was right – I did need legs to become the Marketing Information Manager at the Commercial Appeal – and I have John Anderson to thank for providing me the support, wisdom, and guidance to use my new legs at Scripps. They work just fine, and I have been running ever since! Ten years later and I have been promoted to Corporate Scripps to lead research for all thirteen Scripps newspapers. Thanks in large part to my friend, John Anderson.
Dan Hoag, Research Director E W Scripps Company
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.