Letter to the Editor

Rusty would not write anything he did not believe

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dear Editor:

I want to add my voice to the many praising Rusty Murry and stating the value of his friendship. He was an unusual man, epically tough in facing the stringent challenges of his life but also compassionate in unexpected ways. He'd been a working man who wanted to become a writer, and he succeeded as a journalist, short story writer and novelist. Last year, I read a 10,000-word excerpt of a novel he was writing, "Red Dust," and I hope it ends up getting published because it is a strong work, Rusty at his intellectual, artistic best.

He was the kind of guy you never forget, from his gravelly voice to his honesty. He just would not say or write anything he didn't believe, and the Daily Mail's readers know from long acquaintance that if he had a tough story to write, he wrote it without flinching. I remember a lucky wasp that was buzzing the newsroom and raising everybody's hackles but his. I was about to swat it, but Rusty got on a chair, cupped his hands, caught it, carried it outside and released it. He loved nature, and he handled that wasp like it had real value and deserved his help.

You got a different view of things from being around him. Rusty was a brave man -- you might even say fearless -- with few limits on the choices he could have made. I find it heartening that he chose to be a newspaperman.

Yours sincerely,

James R. Campbell,

Cape Girardeau, Mo.