This Article was written by Dick Harmon, and is recreated here because it is ABOUT Chris, not BY him.
With his pinstriped suit coat draped over a side chair, he sits in the corner of the newsroom.
Concentration centered on a piece of copy conspicously poised electronically on a video screen, he pushs a button and his column is conveyed via wire to newsrooms across the country.
It’s a world apart from the golden days of typewriter ribbons, copy baskets and rounded pencil points; a time the retired editor was into pressure deadlines, the mainstream, not the corner.
He doesn’t put in 12-hour days any more. Retired people don’t do that, But newspaper work is gtill in his blood. it always will be.
Most days his desk in the corner is empty. Desks of retired persons should stay that way.
Nobody knows exactly when he’ll appear. Or leave.
Stacked on the teakwood top are a dozen white covered Congressional Record reports, a main source of his editorials for more than 30 years.
He used to be managing editor. Now he’s editor emeritus. Like headlines. newsroom faces change.
Now when he walks into the newsroom, new faces are at desks once manned by the people he trained and worked with.
A few diehards remain, most of them are senior staff members now and when he comes to take his place at his desk, he gets special respect from those who worked with him.
N. LaVerl Christensen has put in 45 years in newspapering. Most of that time included 18 hour days. And most his professional life, since days he served in the Navy, has been standing up for freedom.
Sometimes, not often enough, God gives the world a modern day patriot: someone who performs undane flag waving and serious singing the National Anthem at ball games. A person who certainly belonged with Franklin and Jefferson and the Continental Congress, maybe without. their genius, but certainly the spirit.
Friday a modern-day patriots home town of 50 years saluted N. LaVerl Christensen by giving him Americas Freedom Award. the highest of nine honors from the Freedom Awards Committee in conjunction with the Freedom Festival.
This sensitive yet outspoken narrator of freedom through written and spoken words for half a century humbly took a bow.
His trademark is quiet dignity, work behind scenes, but a vigorous stand for the Constitution and pride in country.