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Letter: Crippen was 'a local legend'

By Terry Morrison, Worthington There's a twinge of sadness with me this hour after returning from Ray Crippen's funeral. The pastor commented that Ray's greatest gift was putting people first in his life, listening to others. His wonderful storie...

By Terry Morrison, Worthington

There’s a twinge of sadness with me this hour after returning from Ray Crippen’s funeral. The pastor commented that Ray’s greatest gift was putting people first in his life, listening to others. His wonderful stories came to him that way; Ray was also gracious and approachable.
I knew him in passing. He was one of the people you stop and eagerly talk to in the grocery store. Someone who makes you feel good to be in their presence, who listens carefully with head nods and smiles as accents to your tale. Truly, Ray lived in the moment as much as he did in the wonders of Worthington history.
Printed in his obituary was the unofficial title of “naturalist” which reminded me of a story I told to Ray and maybe a day later it became part of an editorial. Elaine and I were walking in Olson Park and saw a large gathering of robins. It was March, and they had returned en masse. I can be impulsive and, when we returned home, I called him to report this sighting and then found out that a group of robins like that is either called a “roost” or “flock.” Learning the proper word for a group of robins was fun, but to be mentioned in a Crippen column somewhere was a thrill.
Ray’s passing hearkens back to those days when the Globe was a powerhouse in the region and state. The “Vance era” is one way to think of it, I suppose. Bob Vance was a wonderful man and mentor to me, but that’s another letter.
DFL politics were popular here; the Globe had terrific staff writers like Lew Hudson and excellent photographers like Larry Schlick and Jim Brandenberg. Today the Globe remains an excellent local newspaper, and I anticipate its arrival every morning. Of course, the light dimmed now that any new Ray Crippen columns on Saturday have ended. He truly was a local legend.

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