Jack Weadock

[from the dust jacket]

Jack Weadock went to work for the Star in 1923. When Ralph Ellinwood and I bought the Star in 1924, he was sports editor. He successively became top reporter, city editor, managing editor, executive editor, and my assistant publisher.

These various duties gave him unusually good oppor­tunity to talk with old-timers and learn about the pioneer days in Arizona of the 19th century. It also gave him an unusually good opportunity to see the making of modern Arizona.

He is a natural born story teller, as his weekly "Desert Notebook" column in every Monday morning's Star testifies. This column reveals that he still is an incorrigible, unreconstructed cavalryman. His early training was as an infantryman; on the Border as a cavalryman at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas, which gave him fine preparation to be­come a doughboy sergeant in the 37th Division of the AEF. He then returned to the cavalry, and his heart is still with the cavalry. As a Marine infantryman, who served in France, I respect this obsession of his. Just as "once a Marine, always a Marine," so is "once a cavalry­man, always a cavalryman." These old cavalrymen are rapidly fading away, but Jack will leave behind a collec­tion of stories of the old cavalry when it was the elite military service, particularly in the pacification and de­velopment of the West and Southwest.

Jack also has gone through a most unusual experience of fading away so nearly completely that his associates on the Star prepared his obituary that they fully expected to publish the following morning. Jack had come down with tuberculosis in the late forties. The time had come when as a last resort, had to have his left lung completely deflated, in the operation that is known as thoracoplasty, which is accompanied by the removal of eight ribs. Following the operation he had a tough time. One afternoon I went out to visit him and found the nurses giving him a blood transfusion, an injection of saline solution, and intravenous feeding, all simultaneously. He was barely able to recognize me. I returned to the office so convinced that he could not last out the evening that I gave orders to set his obituary in type. He recovered and gets along fine on one lung. His old cavalry training came in handy.

William R. Mathews
Editor & Publisher