Letter to the Editor

Remembering Hayes

CambriaJune 16, 2014 

Kudos to David Wilcox for the obituary for Cal Poly professor Jim Hayes. Speaking of kudos, when I was a student in Jim’s journalism class in 1970, he had a sheet on the wall with “kudos” and “kuts” — and your name appeared on one list or the other depending on the quality (or wrongheadedness) of your copy.

Wilcox understated that Jim was a “gruff taskmaster” and was sometimes “crusty” — and I can personally attest to that. I turned in what was supposed to be a straight news story (but it had one or two little “feature” items in it) and Jim tore it up and threw the pieces up in the air for everyone in the class to see.

That was the last news story I presented that was anything less than what the professor asked for. I had a friendship with him years after I graduated from Poly; he was proud that I was a published journalist. And like many others, I really loved him and will forever be grateful for his thoughtful nurturing advocacy beneath all that bluster and gruffness. He was a brilliant and uniquely talented mentor indeed.

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