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TERRY HERSOM: A Conversation

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Terry Hersom has spent the majority of his life in the newspaper business.  He retired in 2015 as the award-winning sports editor of The Sioux City Journal, a position he’d held since 1977.  A Baby Boomer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Terry spent decades covering sports of every type and level, then converted his observations into words for readers of his stories and columns to consume.

Terry works in words the way Norman Rockwell worked in oil paint.  Terry has a knack for striking the right chord under the right circumstance.  His long-running column, “For the Record,” was funny at the right times, serious at the right times, and would always seem to touch the readers’ hearts and minds as if we were seeing for ourselves what Terry saw.

Terry often describes his sportswriting career as his life in the candy store.  Sports, you see, are life’s candy.  They are something extra we all enjoy.  But sports are not the meat and potatoes of life.  They are a treat.  Terry would go into the candy store, pick out the treats he thought we would like to eat, and set them out for us each morning in the candy dish of the sports section for us to devour.

This year, Brian Vakulskas sat down with Terry for an extensive interview about Terry’s life and career.  Over the course of the halftime shows during the 2021 high school football season, we will share with you many segments of that conversation.

UPDATED NOVEMBER 1, 2021: Yesterday, I received the news of Terry’s death.  My thoughts immediately drifted back to that Saturday morning in August when I spent the better part of 3 hours with Terry at the KSCJ Studios, recording what would become these individual halftime interviews.  Along with my sorrow for the loss of Terry, I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to record his recollections so they are now preserved for posterity.

Episode 1: Growing up in Cedar Rapids

Episode 2: UNI, Protest Music, and Vietnam

Episode 3: Full-time student, full-time sportswriter and editor

Episode 4: Ottumwa

Episode 5: Terry Arrives in Sioux City

Episode 6: Journal Characters

Episode 7: Terry the Golfer

Episode 8: East and Heelan, Heelan and East

Episode 9: More East and Heelan…and Terry the Partisan?

Episode 10: Jim West

Episode 11: Cooperstown, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Shelby Houlihan

Episode 12: 40 Hall of Famers

Episode 13: Sports Gambling

Episode 14: Bear Down, Chicago Bears!

Episode 15: Rudy Salem and Baseball in Sioux City

Episode 16: “I have a tombstone at a local cemetery with my name on it…”