“Everyone who worked with him is at a loss for words.”
Alderman Andy Hawkins perfectly summed up what I have felt since I heard the news longtime Log Cabin Democrat Sports Editor David McCollum died Monday.
I’ve been racking my brain for what I wanted to say about David because there are so many things to say.
He was passionate about this business. You could tell by his writing and his will to continue reporting on sports until he died.
Many coworkers and people who knew David have struggled with what to say about David’s death.
Current Vilonia Eagles football coach and former Mayflower Eagles football coach Todd Langrell said Faulkner County has lost a legend.
Indeed it has.
I have had the honor and privilege to work alongside David, covering Faulkner County sports since June 2015, and it has been a great experience.
When I first interviewed for an internship that summer, I can honestly say David intimidated me because I had heard about his experience.
Unknowingly to me at the time, David would be one of the nicer guys I ever met, and he was willing to share his wealth of knowledge with me.
I was amazed by the information David had about small schools in rural Arkansas — but he always knew.
I tried my best to act as a sponge and soak up the knowledge he had and sought avenues to help myself find information better.
David was 42 years my elder with nearly 51 years in the newspaper business, so that knowledge and experience will be beneficial.
As my coworkers will say, David would always remind us about datelines, and how correct errors in our stories in a way that wasn’t demeaning.
I had the pleasure of interviewing David in July 2017 after he marked 50 years in the newspaper business.
The stories he told me during that interview are ones that I keep in my memory.
He’s taken a Russian basketball player to the dentist, seen some of Arkansas’ best athletes pass through and has covered monumental events like the “Battle of the Sexes” that led to Title IX.
It was even during that interview, I was honestly struggling over whether being a reporter was the right thing for me.
During that interview, I saw a perspective of someone who has spent a half-century in newspapers, and I saw a hunger re-emerge for sports reporting.
Every time David and I would cover sporting events together, the people David knew amazed me.
He greeted just about everyone in the press box at football games or at press row and held conversations.
He would point out things during games that slipped past others’ eyes.
He always had an eye out for the unusual, but in a way that was beneficial to everyone in the press box and his stories.
He would ask questions during postgame press conferences that I hadn’t thought to ask.
He always knew how to convey his stories and columns in a way that were never tiring to read.
Over time, David’s body of work became a personal favorite of mine to read.
When I received a call Monday morning from Log Cabin Democrat Publisher Kelly Sublett that David had a heart attack, my immediate reaction was shock.
David had been sick and in the hospital with dehydration and was diagnosed with diabetes during the week of April 23-27.
With David out, I would head up sports. He would call me from the hospital, asking how everything was going and wanting updates on Faulkner County sports.
He truly cared about local sports and was genuinely interested in what was going on.
His wife, Beverly, sent a text during David’s final hours, saying he felt like he was letting the newspaper down.
Oftentimes, when he would go on vacation, he would still be working.
That is a testament to his work ethic, and it showed through the several awards that sat on his desk.
Unfortunately, the world lost David on Monday, and it has been tough to fathom.
A man who had a wealth of knowledge and who often laughed at us younger reporter’s antics would no longer be physically in our newsroom.
However, David will continue to be in the Log Cabin newsroom. His personality, the many lives he has impacted and young reporters who have sat alongside him will carry on.
My goal is not to acquire as many awards as David, however, it would be great to accomplish so much.
My goal is to make an impact on people’s lives the way David has.
David McCollum will continue to be and is already missed by many.