Kevin Coyne’s piece on Ernie Pyle and his book Home Country (“The Road Book,” CJR, January/February) brought up a lot of memories. When I was growing up, my father, Porter Harvey, was a copy editor on the Birmingham Post. I was 11 when he left the Post to start The Advertiser-Gleam, where I’m the editor today.
I was just beginning to read newspapers to any extent in World War II, and Daddy used to talk a lot about Ernie Pyle and the great stuff he was writing. I’m sure Daddy edited a lot of his columns and wrote the heads for them. He also talked about Ernie’s writing before the war and how well he told the stories of ordinary folks all over the United States.
The Advertiser-Gleam has become known around here for carrying news that we think is interesting, even if not always important, something which my father did, and which those of us who followed have tried to continue. I’m sure he picked up part of his philosophy from all those Ernie Pyle columns. He died at age 91, still working every day.
Editor, The Advertiser-Gleam
Editors’ note: Sam Harvey, as devoted as his father to the mission of The Advertiser-Gleam, is still going strong at 81.