Great turnout for tonight's #DDNLegend Dale Huffman! pic.twitter.com/LNLrKiiAWk
— WrightStateLibraries (@dunbarlibrary) July 18, 2014
Huffman might be one of the few people whose favorite president is Reagan, as Taylor McKinley captured in July 21, 2014 "Guardian" article "Dayton Living Legend Dale Huffman honored":
“I like to do things differently. I like to get to know my sources,” explained Huffman. This became evident when he described an encounter he had with President Ronald Reagan. “I asked him, ‘Don’t you have to go meet the Prince of Bangladesh or something like that?’ And he said, ‘Forget it, I’m talking to Dale from Ohio.’”
and who posed with GHWBush to be invited to speak at an American university.
I obviously inherited my parents inability to take photos ...here's Dale's Sons of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Medal:
I only knew Dale's lighthearted puff pieces he wrote later in his career and was unaware that he started out as a hard news reporter. Dale told how he cultivated a relationship with a family of one of the US Embassy hostages held by Iranian terrorists by keeping them informed as best he could with the latest AP dispatches. They rewarded Dale for his thoughtfulness by granting him an exclusive interview once their son, Steven Lauterbach, was freed.
Dale also related a story of which I was unaware. Martin Luther King's mother was murdered while she played the organ in church. Since the mentally ill murderer was from Dayton, Dale was sent to cover his court case.
Dale glissanded over parts of his biography that Ron Rollins in his January 2007 "Ohio Magazine" article "An Column A Day" went into slightly greater depth:
"He covered the infamous Ohio Penitentiary riots in 1968 - knowing that his brother Eddie was an inmate inside the walls. His editors let him stay on the story, and he ended up testifying before a congressional subcommittee on prison violence.
As boys, Dale and Eddie had grown up in an orphanage in Springfield after their family fell apart. "I was in there from third grade till high school, and it was hell," he recalls. "But I like to think today that that experience pushed me to excel - to become who I am today."
Eddie went a different way, falling into drugs and crime and dying shortly after the prison riot. Another brother, Keith, died in Miamisburg at the age of 12, struck by a train "while delivering the Dayton Daily News," Dale recalls.
Dale ended up reconciling and reuniting with his mother, Katherine, and taking care of her in her old age. His readers grew to know her pretty well during that time, too, thanks to frequent mentions of her in his columns."
On a much lighter note, Dale told how he was sent to interview Judy Garland when she performed in Cincy. He was prepped by her publicist not to ask any questions about her personal life and only focus on her public performance. Dale must also suffer from oppositional personality disorder because the first question he cheekily asked Judy was "How's your love life?" to which Judy laughed and retorted "Just fine. How's yours?"
A woman in the audience then inadvertently tattled on Dale by thanking him for giving her copies of Judy Garland photos from the DDN archives, to which he pled the 5th Amendment and neither confirmed nor denied her adulation/accusation.
Wright State Library captioned this photo as Dale talking about Judy Garland, but even after zooming in on the photo within the photo it's impossible to corroborate: