MANSFIELD: My Friend Feagler

When I got a call from a producer at WVIZ, Channel 25, inquiring if I wanted to appear as a guest on Feagler and Friends, I have to admit I was somewhat surprised. Of course I well knew who Dick Feagler was — I was just surprised that he knew who I was. It must have been something I had written that caught his attention.

Still, I walked into the TV studio ready to do battle if necessary. I knew that Dick was like me: Highly opinionated. Maybe that’s why I liked him in spite of the fact our opinions didn’t always coincide. Nonetheless, whatever the topic was — I really can’t recall since it’s been well over a decade ago — our thinking on the subject must have aligned since he invited me back for guest appearances on other occasions.

Feagler’s greatest asset was his mental flexibility on social issues. While he took pride in being described as a somewhat intransigent curmudgeon — someone always yearning for a distant past that was great for his demographic but not so good for others — his keen intellect wouldn’t allow him to stay stuck with old ways of thinking. He changed and grew with the times.

When he was asked to be the Grand Marshal of the Pride Parade back in 2014 he overcame his initial hesitancy when he recalled that he once had a classmate that was presumed to be a homosexual, and became so traumatized that he later hanged himself. If only all Americans could have his capacity for growth.

While Feagler certainly wasn’t ever to be confused with being a leftist or liberal, he certainly stayed in step with the times, despite his protestations to the contrary. He was, at his core, a fair-minded individual who wasn’t afraid to speak out for the rights of all, and to do so in an uncompromising voice we all could understand. What more could you ask for from a great journalist?

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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