How Jack steered us away from stupidity
Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.
I don't think I realized how much I enjoyed having Jack Teahen around. I guess I'll realize that more now that he won't be stopping in for his periodic newsroom visits.
I started out with this company working for Crain's Detroit Business, our local business newspaper. I first knew Jack as a patient, helpful guide -- and painstaking inquisitor -- to the new world of automotive journalism when I picked up free-lance work from him.
I also remember him as a mute protestor against the workplace nonsmoking rules that went into effect, as I recall, sometime in the 1980s. I would regularly bump into Jack in the elevator, an unlit cigarette already in his mouth, as he prepared to step outside for a smoke.
That was Jack: He kept smoking, he didn't eat his vegetables, and he didn't like computers. He was his own guy.
But Jack was more than a character. New reporters can easily succumb to the notion that the world they cover, be it a city council or a football team or a car company, is unexplored territory.
It's invaluable to have someone like Jack around, who thoroughly knows the ins and outs of a complex business and steers you away from your stupid mistakes -- without making you feel stupid in the process.
You can reach Dave Guilford at firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Follow Dave on