"Blackie's a man who always finds the right word, and every time he sits down to write a column, he finds 800 or 900 of the right words," Luksa says. "Here was the epitome of style, humor, and frequently a very subtle point...You feel better after reading Blackie."
If there's a young generation out there that barely knows the name Blackie Sherrod, perhaps it's the fault of a newspaper that never knew what to do with him, never celebrated its finest writer, and let him give up his column without a fight. Or maybe Sherrod is to blame, having so little ego that he didn't feel the need to keep his name in spotlights forever. Either way, it's a shame.
"One of the greatest who ever lived": Blackie Sherrod in repose
But do not tell him that. He doesn't take compliments well. Do not, for instance, tell him that reading one of his columns is like watching a carpenter build a cathedral. That doesn't go over too well.
"I never thought of it that way," he says, hacking up a laugh. "I thought about getting through that sumbitch so I could go get a beer with the guys." Still absolute greatness.