by Dick Kraus
Newsday Staff Photographer (Retired)


I’m done. Finished. Through. I’ve said everything that I wanted to say and I really have nothing more to add.

Years ago, I came to The Digital Journalist’s Editor, Publisher and creator, Dirck Halstead, with an idea to write a monthly feature that would appeal to the thousands of newspaper photographers who weren’t working for the major papers; newspukes who covered their hometowns and their own backyards; whose assignments weren’t necessarily glamorous or exciting, much like my own. He invited me to meet with him in Washington, DC, We had dinner together and hashed out what was to become “Assignment Sheet.” For the first few years I wrote and laid out my own stories of my daily routines, interspersed occasionally with a rare opportunity that I had to cover something glamorous and exciting. But, most of my stories were local and most were dull as dirt. But, there was always something that was funny, interesting or even sad. And, they were experiences that most newspukes could relate to. I had invited several other shooters to submit their stories and we found a home at The Digital Journalist where we could share these experiences with you. After awhile it became more and more difficult to get others to submit their stories so I plodded on alone. I had over forty years on the street and the stories had been piling up since day one, so I never lacked for something to write about.

As long as I was working, I was constantly renewing my inventory with some weird event or other and I figured that I could keep writing until I could no longer move my fingers over a keyboard. But, suddenly, there I was; retired. After forty-two years at a job that I loved as dearly as life itself, I no longer found it to be fun. Things were changing in the industry. It was all about the bottom line and not about quality. I was offered a decent buy-out and I saw no reason not to take it. I did, and my source of new stories dried up. I was able to keep writing until I had used up my backlog.

A few weeks ago, I was wracking my brain for an untold story and could find nothing. It hit me in a flash.

“You’re done!” said a creaky old voice. Actually, it was my creaky old voice and it spoke the truth.

I am done. I have said everything that I wanted to say.

And, I couldn’t have said a single word had it not been for the help and encouragement of Dirck Halstead and everyone at The Digital Journalist who made it all possible.

And, you, my dear friends. You who read these journals every month and you who took the time to e-mail me or make on line comments about some stories. It was gratifying to know that someone out there in the vast internet was taking the time to read what I had written and some who even wrote to tell me that their experiences had matched mine. It’s nice to know that I wasn’t alone.

Thank you. Thank you, very much.

Dick Kraus


blog comments powered by Disqus



Contents Page Editorials The Platypus Links Copyright
Portfolios Camera Corner War Stories  Dick's Gallery Comments
Issue Archives Columns Forums Mailing List E-mail Us
 This site is sponsored and powered by Hewlett Packard