Last Saturday evening I was honored to be one of the speakers at Lori Rodriguez’s life tribute celebration. There were about 75 of her family, friends, and colleagues in attendance.
Former Chron reporter and Secretary Jim Baker speechwriter John Williams opened with some life and work lessons he learned from Lori. My old pal Nene Foxhall delivered eloquent remarks on Lori’s extraordinary career and read some powerful quotes from her articles. One of Lori’s family members, Martin Olivarez, thanked us for attending.
Local attorney Steve Wisch told stories about Lori’s days at The Daily Texan. Former Chron editor Jack Loftis talked about how hard Lori worked and also read quotes from her columns. One of her former Chron editors, Fernando Dovalina, talked about their days at the Chron and their work together covering the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. Fernando also read from her stories. Claudia Feldman, Lori’s colleague at the Chron, wrapped it up.
When parts of Lori’s stories were read out loud I was reminded of just how profound her articles were. She was a great reporter.
Others that attended the tribute included Macario Ramirez, Alan Bernstein, Doug Miller, Jeff Cohen, Lisa Hernandez, Steve Jetton, former County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, and Giovanni Garibay.
There were some photos of Lori on display, along with some of her articles, and a couple of her reporter notebooks. Gio was thumbing through a notebook that apparently was from 1999 and he found some of her notes about a local city council race she was covering. One of the candidates she quotes refers to a certain state legislator an “arsehole.” I knew the race well and I can assure folks that the quote was accurate. How funny and weird that of all the notebooks the family had, that’s the one they put on display.
When I spoke I mentioned some of the things I said about Lori in Daily Commentary back on June 11. Here is how I finished my remarks Saturday night:
When Lori stopped reporting a few years ago, a lot of stories about my community stop showing up in the paper.
I have often wondered of late if Lori was still around, what she would be writing about.
Probably about the fact that Cy-Fair ISD is the third largest school district in the state because the largest student population group is Latino.
Maybe about the fact that neighborhoods in Katy are starting to look like the United Nations.
Why is Univision the most watched news program at 10 pm?
She would certainly have had a piece calling out all of us Latino leaders for doing a dismal job of turning out our voter.
These were the type of stories that educated an entire city and made us all better at celebrating our diversity.
Last week I went through an old photo file and found the photo of Lori and me at the ‘Stros game back in 2000 when I gave her the foul ball. I went and found my personal calendar from 2000 and saw that Lori and I had gone to the game on Saturday, April 8, 2000 against the Phillies. It was the Official Opening Weekend at The Yard the week after we played the three exhibition games against the Yankees and Rangers. I remember it was an afternoon game and the photo confirms it. I went and checked my foul ball collection and didn’t find any of my 2000 foul balls before April 8 so I realized that the foul ball I gave Lori was the first I ever snagged at The Yard.
During my remarks I mentioned giving Lori the foul ball. Afterward a family member told me that they were going through Lori’s belongings at her home and found a baseball in one of the drawers and they were wondering why Lori had a baseball. We came to the quick conclusion that it was the baseball I had given her. They asked me if I would take it and of course I very humbly accepted.
Yesterday I went through some of my old ‘Stros stuff and found the tickets to the April 8, 2000 game and so now Lori’s Baseball is encased along with the tickets – for sure a most cherished personal memento.
The Texas Rangers are sending 7 of their players to the MLB All Star game next week – a club record. The ‘Stros club record for sending players to an All Star Game is 5 set in 1994. Name the five ‘Stros?
The Houston Press today calls the ‘Stros GM a “genius.” Oh, yeah! Then how come he couldn’t get Numero 45 to agree to wear the Dodger blue this past weekend? I really don’t know the details about the botched trade but one would think that out of respect for Numero 45 and recognizing the particulars of Numero 45’s current contract, the GM would have approached Numero 45 earlier to let him know he was working a deal. Maybe he could have gotten Numero 45 to buy in. Numero 45 owns a working ranch down the road and he probably also has his family in H-town so to spring a trade deal on him Saturday morning and expect him to make a decision on the spot doesn’t sound too “genius” to me.
Speaking of botched deals, the head of NBC News blames “The Today Show” ratings slide on ousted co-host Ann Curry. Here is from a weekend article:
He said he agreed with interviewer Marisa Guthrie that Curry had faltered in the cooking segments, movie star interviews and fluffy features that make up a large portion of "Today."
So Ann Curry can’t stand the heat in the kitchen. On Friday, NBC announced that Savannah Guthrie would replace Curry. I guess Natalie Morales wasn’t as kitchen friendly. Commentary will continue to be loyal to “The Today Show” but if the ratings don’t improve – who’s next?
Way to go Tiger! The one of many things you can say about Tiger is that he excels at recovering after a bad shot. He won his third tournament of the year yesterday.
In 1994, Jeff Bagwell, B-G-O, Ken Caminiti, Doug Drabek, and John Hudek of course represented the ‘Stros at the MLB All Star Game.
The Chron said we would go 12-15 in June and we went 10-17. The Chron said we would be 33-45 through June and we were 32-46.
20/10 will get to meet Jose Altuve, the only ‘Stro on the NL All Star Team!