Randy is going into the Hall of Fame.

At the meeting of the hall of fame committee recently, they elected Charles R. "Randy" Cline for the 2019 honor.

I may be a little biased, but nothing could be more appropriate. It is a fitting exclamation point to recognize the life and career of this amazing human being.

He grew up where he saw every day the workings of the old Independent Herald, which was owned by his best friend's father Jack Shipman. We boys were allowed to watch as the typesetters did their work on the linotype. Then, we were all mesmerized as the huge presses groaned and came to life. Soon we were watching the miracle of a brand new edition. We were hooked.

Adult life saw Randy and our younger brother David going into the service. David to the Air Force, and Randy into the Army.

David spent most of his military career in Japan, where he became editor of the base newspaper. While there, he was flown from Japan to the Pentagon, where he was awarded best newspaper in the Asian sector. He had found his career and it was that knowledge and experience that gave David and Randy the idea of publishing their own paper, since their beloved Independent Herald was struggling to stay afloat. The owners were looking to unload the paper rather than just lock the doors. With an old Dodge Charger and a little money David had saved, plus all they could borrow, they bought the paper.

One of the first things they did was to take advantage of the interest of sports crazy Wyoming County. They created a sports section that rivaled the big papers. They added an opinion page and were on top of anything that was of interest to the readers. Soon there was a following that included every state, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Randy stood for, and was elected to, the House of Delegates. It was here that Randy's skills and personality soon became apparent to everyone he met. That is when he was asked to become the executive secretary of the West Virginia Press Association, where he served and left his mark.

After serving a stint as communications director for Jay Rockefeller, he returned home to devote full time to running the IH and their newly-formed Gilbert Times, which became a very successful paper and source of community pride.

Anyway, the recognition is well-deserved. It is the culmination of a career that was a labor of love. He loved his work and he loved the people he served. And they loved him.

Email sportspaige30@gmail.com.

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