Furman Bisher

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 19, 2012


The facebook friend (who PG has never met in person) had a link to a story, Bisher’s career ends, as does an era. Sure enough, on the front page, was another link… Furman Bisher dies at 93.

There was a picture of Mr. Bisher, taken from the press box of the newly completed Atlanta Stadium. Below this was a picture of a black woman with blonde hair. The headline was “‘RHOA:’ NeNe meets with divorce attorney.” There is a comment about changing times in that image.

PG posted a feature, The Last Furman Bisher Column, after the retirement of the writer. It was suggested that the fishwrapper might not outlive Mr. Bisher. The newspaper lives on, even if it is a greatly reduced affair.

When he was a kid, PG had different interests. He would get into something for a while, then move on to something else. In 1965, it was baseball and football. The Atlanta Journal had a column every day by Furman Bisher. PG thought he was a very good, very funny writer.

Yesterday, the fishwrapper printed the last column by Furman Bisher. Many, many things had changed in those 44 years. The well crafted prose of Furman Bisher remained the same.

In 1965, Mr. Bisher produced six columns a week for the afternoon paper. Typically, five of them would be on a single subject. The sixth one would be a collection of one or two liners, separated by three dots. These mix and match columns were always signed “selah”. Selah is an untranslatable Hebrew word from Psalms. When asked why, Mr. Bisher said “your guess is as good as mine”.

In one of the columns signed selah, Mr. Bisher talked about sports cliches. His least favorite one was about a ballplayer “who can do it all”. ” Lets see one of them have a baby”

While the Cox family owned both the morning Constitution and the afternoon Journal, they were separate papers then. They had a TV section on saturday printed on green paper, which made the world look red after you turned away from it. The saturday paper also had a weekly ad by a restaurant owner who dabbled in politics, named Lester Maddox. The next year, he would be elected Governor of Georgia. Lester called the Cox Newspapers “the fishwrapper”.

In 1965, the Braves played a lame duck season in Milwaukee. The Crackers played one last season in the brand new Atlanta Stadium. It did not have the hyphen Fulton County in it’s name yet, and the people of Atlanta were so proud of that facility. The next year, the Braves set up shop in Dixie, and were horrible. The Falcons played their first season, and were even worse. Before long, PG found other things to be interested in.

Furman Bisher continued to plug away. A young man named Lewis Grizzard came to work at the fishwrapper, and Mr. Bisher was his boss. Eventually, Lewis Grizzard took a job in Chicago, a frosty exile from warm Georgia. A few years later, Mr. Grizzard came home, and became an institution. The only problem was his heart. Lewis Grizzard left us on March 20, 1994.

Mr. Bisher is 90 today, and in good health. He is leaving on his feet. The fishwrapper continues to shrink, and may not outlive one of it’s best writers.


3 Responses

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  1. […] Bonds and Steroids. Joe Torre is managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, and is leading his division. Furman Bisher is 90, has outlived Bear Bryant by 26 years, and continues to sign his columns […]

  2. […] Bonds and Steroids. Joe Torre is managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, and is leading his division. Furman Bisher outlived Bear Bryant by 26 years, and finished his columns “selah”. Mr. Bisher passed away […]

  3. […] of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. He won four World Series as manager of the New York Yankees. Furman Bisher outlived Bear Bryant by 26 years, passing away March 18, 2012. […]

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