Friday, March 30, 2012

On The Way to Rancho Cucamonga

This week we lost another member of the CBS2/KCAL9 family. Chuck Hollis passed away and even though he'd been gone from the newsroom for a number of years, I always half-expected for him to just show up for work one day and start doing his job again without missing a beat.

Chuck worked on our assignment desk for a number of years and he was legend long before I got to work news in Los Angeles.

There are people who could do a much better job of eulogizing Chuck Hollis than me. Many of the current managers working at our station started out learning the ropes from Chuck and he had more than a few photographer drinking buddies.

I'm just thankful for having had the opportunity to work with him at all.

Having worked in the field as a reporter, Chuck brought a wealth of knowledge to his job on the assignment desk that you just don't see much of anymore.

Like Jack Nicholson or maybe Bill Clinton, he's just one of those people who had such a distinctive voice that anyone talking about him wouldn't simply repeat what he said, they'd try to do an impression of him.

To have Chuck send you to an assignment and have his personal knowledge of how to best get there was simply a joy that sometimes rose to a poetic level.

"Take the 101 and exit at Broadway.  Drive two blocks South and you should see a woman with a shopping cart, her name is Betty.  Turn right into the driveway just past her and in that lot there, you should be able to find a parking space.  Cross the alley at the back of the lot and you're gonna come up on a wooden fence.  Should be a couple of boards missing.  Pass through there and you'll be in the courtyard where the press conference is supposed to happen.  Just spray the press conference, I got another thing at 1:00 that I might send you to."

Also, I don't know that he ever actually said it, but at the mention of Chuck's name to anyone who worked in news and knew him, you're also likely to get this quote:

"Scott Moulton, how long will it take you to get to Rancho Cucamonga?"

There are sure to be better detailed remembrances of Chuck Hollis in the coming days.  With his passing, these were just my first thoughts that I wanted to share.

Like I said, there are people who would be better at eulogizing Chuck Hollis, I'm just one of the many working in news saddened by our loss and maybe one of the few who might help bring out a smile reminding people of the happier times in his life.


Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to wake up this morning at 2:55 and read this blog. Daddy you were loved so much more than you knew.People still can't believe you are gone, but I know he would say, "Don't cry for me, don't shed a tear. The time we had together is gone, but when I'am gone please carry on, don't cry for me. your daughter, Twana♥

Bryan Frank said...

He was all class and I'm just glad I had the opportunity to work with him.

Nancy said...

Thank you for this great tribute. He was the rock in the storm of a newsroom. He wasn't thrown by nonsense, could see the story past the superficial and was always there to help anyone who asked. He was what news people should always try to be. I am hopeful we all told him how great he was.