Three veteran journalists, including the late photographer Bob DeLong of the Bangor Daily News, have been selected for inclusion in the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame. The late columnist Bill Clark, DeLong and retired publisher Don Levesque will be inducted at ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16, at Point Lookout Conference Center in Northport as part of the MPA’s annual fall conference.
Bob DeLong worked at the Bangor Daily News for 34 years, the last 22 as a staff photographer. He began his career with the BDN in 1968 as a typographer in the composing room, and then worked as a freelance photographer for United Press International in the 1970s. He moved into the photography department at the Bangor Daily News in 1980.
“He was always ready to tackle any story, any challenge,” wrote Bangor Daily News Photo Editor Scott Haskell. “Bob was interested in the people he met and photographed. He was a fountain of knowledge about Maine’s people and towns,” Haskell recalled, “and the issues that affected them.”
In 2002, in the newspaper’s “Pictures of the Year” section, DeLong looked back on his career.
“Over the years,” he wrote, “the pages of the Bangor Daily News have given me the opportunity, through my photos, to tell stories, show happiness, sadness, accomplishment, failure, relief, despair and, I hope, to show readers something they might not have had time to see themselves.”
DeLong died in July 2008.
In the fall of 1957, the first of Bill Clark’s “Logrolling” columns, later called “Some Logrolling,” began appearing in the Portland Press Herald. It was intended to be no more than an informed, folksy series on woodland management for the newspaper’s Living in Maine page.
The column quickly developed in style, broadened content and reader popularity. In it, Clark followed the mold of 18th century Maine satirist Seba Smith by introducing the inhabitants of a fictional Maine town known as Cedar River to carry on his own pointed discussion of current events. The column became a fixture for three decades on the editorial pages of the Portland Press Herald, Central Maine Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal. Clark also was the author of seven books.
“He was thoughtful, funny, wise and occasionally (but not too often) sentimental in detailing the foibles of his fellow Mainers and himself,” wrote Al Diamon, one of his nominators.
“Some Logrolling” ran until Clark’s death in 1988 at the age of 74.
Don Levesque retired earlier this year after spending 25 years with the St. John Valley Times, holding almost every position at the Madawaska weekly before becoming its publisher in 1996.
“As publisher, Don advocated for the Valley as a unique cultural asset to the state and the world,” wrote St. John Valley Times Managing Editor Elizabeth Duprey. “His work in promoting Franco-American and Acadian culture will always be remembered, as will his commitment to the truth and to serving his community.”
In May 1996, upon being named publisher, Levesque told readers that his new appointment at the St. John Valley Times “is probably one of the biggest honors of my life, the greatest challenge of my life and the fruitful continuation of a love affair with the St. John Valley.”
“Through his thoughtful and creative writing, his dogged insistence on preserving the Acadian language and heritage of the region, his hard work, and his delightful wit, Don made this local newspaper the true voice of this wonderful region, embraced and loved by all,” wrote University of Maine at Fort Kent President Richard Cost.
The list of MPA Hall of Fame members is available at http://mainepress.wordpress.com/hall-of-fame/.
To see a slide show of Bob Delong’s photography, visit http://www.bangordailynews.com/external/galleries/delong/index.html