Novelist Charles Dickinson has fond memories of Bob Frisk

  • Bob Frisk (right) receives an award from the Daily Herald management staff that was presented by Doug Ray.

    Bob Frisk (right) receives an award from the Daily Herald management staff that was presented by Doug Ray. Daily Herald File Photo

By Charles Dickinson
Former Daily Herald sports writer
Updated 5/18/2020 6:39 PM

I grew up reading Bob and The Daily Herald's prep sports coverage, so having him as my first boss was like clocking in at the Mount Rushmore of local journalism.

The Friday game nights at the Herald (it wasn't a daily paper yet) during high school football or basketball season -- with sports writers bent over typewriters, yelling out questions or comments or jokes -- were chaotic, nerve-wracking, and a lot of fun.


Bob was the calm center of it all. "BF" had given us nicknames, so as "Cookie," "The Wisp," "Baron," "KR," or "Stick" finished, Bob would read, edit and write the headline for each game story. He had time during all this to lay out the section's pages and raise questions about items in each story -- while also laughing and joking and making upbeat observations about a prep sports world that we could argue would not have existed without Bob and the Herald.

Bob as boss can be summed up in this incident: An error I made misidentifying a gymnast in a photograph ran in the paper, and Bob, from his desk, without looking directly at me, shook his head and said one word, "Inexcusable."

Bob never mentioned it again, and I've made plenty of mistakes since, but his one word stands out. I'm also not the concise wordsmith Bob was, so my description of him as boss, mentor and friend requires twice as many words: "The best."

• Dickinson is an Arlington High School graduate and author of novels and short stories who started his writing career as a Daily Herald sports writer.

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