After one of my seances at a national conference of the American Copy Editors Society, Dick Thien came up to me and said that he thought my defense of the value of editing had been moving. And I felt like an aspirant upon whom had just been bestowed the apostolic succession.
Richard Thien, who has died at the age of seventy-three, was one of those great editors of the past generation, whose enthuisiasm for the craft was matched by his encouragement of a rising generation of journalists, particularly in the Chips Quinn Scholar program. He was good-humored and a pleasure to talk to, and he knew his onions.
And now he has gone. If you want to honor his memory, have a look at his list of cliche story openings. Nearly everyone in the business has been guilty of resorting to one or more of these hoary chestnuts. You can do better than that; you are better than that. Dick Thien knew that about you. Go and sin no more.