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The Apology

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Blog | 6 Comments

As of this afternoon, my Sunday story — what I am calling “The Apology” has nearly 8,000 Facebook shares and over 300 Tweets.   The story has resonated with people, and they want to share it as they reflect on their lives and their past.  I have received many calls and e-emails from people, many of them who said they cried when they read the story and felt the need to talk about it.

This should serve as a lesson on why stories — and newspapers — serve as a vital role in a community. Story is what gives us meaning and what can remind us of what it means to be human.

The best stories make us think and feel.

Later this week, I plan on talking more about the story behind this story.

Check back.

Tom

6 Comments

  1. David L Rattigan (@davidlrattigan)
    April 24, 2012

    Tom, I’d like you to know the story of Larry and Mr Atteberry moved me. This morning, I sent off emails to two different people from my past. I think I hurt them, one as long ago as 25 years. I haven’t heard back, and I don’t know if I will, but it feels good to have taken that step, taking total responsibility and just saying flat-out, “I’m sorry.” I hope at least one friendship will be restored through this.

    Reply
    • Tom
      April 24, 2012

      David:

      That is great news. I think all of us have something like this in our past. Keep in touch, and let me know what becomes of this. Thanks.

      tom

      Reply
      • David L Rattigan (@davidlrattigan)
        May 7, 2012

        Thanks, Tom. The one guy hasn’t replied, but that’s okay. Emailing him to say sorry relieved me of a burden I carried for quarter of a century, if that’s not too selfish a way of looking at it. The other guy and his wife did reply to say, “NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE” — block capitals theirs! We are picking up where our friendship left off. I am glad I sent off both apologies, and thankful I am back in touch with some very dear friends. Thanks again for your inspiring article.

        Reply
        • Tom
          May 7, 2012

          Thank you for writing. Nice that you are able to pick up a friendship like that.

          tom

          Reply
  2. Sherhonda
    June 26, 2012

    I love reading anything that gives me goose pimples and this piece did — it was wonderfully written. I’m a very low-level editor at a small newspaper and one thing that strikes me is that I would have never been able to write this story, or one like it, in the same way. I would have been asked to remove myself from the story and just write what happened between the former teacher and student, skimming over the involvement you had in bringing them together.
    Why are editors so reluctant to allow reporters to, on occassion, have a voice like this? Maybe you could blog about this different wrting style, why you chose it, if you had to fight to retain it, and why editors should sometimes allow a writer to go outside the box. Thanks

    Reply
  3. SANDRA K KATZ
    August 5, 2012

    Dear Tom Hallman:

    What a BEAUTIFULLY written story! For the past 10 years, I have read the entire Orange County Register daily, and this is the most fascinating story they have ever printed, period! Now I want to read everything you have ever written. Thank you for sharing your expertise. You have brightened my world with your journalistic talent and gift of relating to others.

    Sandra K. Katz

    Reply

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