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Waltonian’s past remembers Ben Carr’s legacy

On Sept. 28, the world lost a journalism great-a news hound who worked hard, burned the midnight oil and loved every minute of it. This enthusiastic journalist, affectionately known as Waltoniben or Gentle Ben, left big footprints in the lives of his Waltonian colleagues. Here are a few parting memories from those who were privileged to work with Ben Carr. Words could never be enough, Ben. We miss you.

Two months ago, Ben called me to say hi. “I’ve got two major news items for you,” he said, knowing that would spark my interest. “Nate Duncan finally graduated from Eastern, and my mom had another baby.” He loved to talk about the latest news and made me laugh every time. I’ll never forget how he stopped by during my D.C. internship with my favorite iced tea and a mix CD. It was a random compilation, mostly Ben’s favorites: Modest Mouse and Postal Service. I still listen to it.Dena Pauling ’05 (Editor-in-chief ’03-04)

Ben used to call me hours before a due date, asking, “Do we have a paper due tomorrow?” The next day, he’d stagger in, hand his paper to the professor, skip the rest of the class to catch up on his sleep, and get a better grade than I did. It was deeply offensive, but I still loved Ben because of how fully he lived his life. I’ll miss him, but will remember how he balanced thoughtfulness and impulsivity so brilliantly.Andrea Priest ’06 (Photo editor ’04-05)

As a first-year who made news editor, Ben Carr scared me. I learned a lot about journalism just by watching him. Watching paid off. As his co-editor, I found the same news hero sleeping in the hallway while waiting for me to finish my pages. At our internship, I watched him put off work to take on a dare-to be the first to get a stranger’s phone number-and return empty-handed, smiling.Shannon Whiting ’06 (Managing Editor ’04-05)

Whether it was our thirst for journalism, eclectic musical taste or our love of obscure movies, Ben and I hit it off immediately. We talked about becoming a couple of old journalists together. Perhaps we could have even co-authored a book-carried heavily by him, of course. I know that I cannot even hold a candle to the journalistic integrity that Ben Carr possessed. When I think about his passing, I can only hear Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics, “When they built you, brother, they broke the mold.”Caleb Sanders ’07 (Managing Editor ’06-07)

Always one for going the extra mile, Ben jumped out of a car at a stoplight to take a picture of a car filled so full of balloons that they were coming out the windows. He broke his flip flop in the process, but we got the picture and were so excited to have it go in the paper. These random acts of craziness became synonymous with Ben Carr. In those times, I most admired him. Lauren (Russin) Stouten ’05 (Editor-in-chief ’04-05)

Ben was a lot of things, but what I remember most is that he was kind. He taught me to hone my editorial writing skills as we constructed Inquiring Minds, sent me home from the office late at night and helped me get my first issue as editor ready for printing. Such actions were simply part of who he was, and a major part of why I came to admire and trust him as a colleague and a leader.Ruth Robinson ’07 (Editor-in-chief ’06-07)

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