Pour a Tall Drink and Read All About Those Who Broke Dallas's News in Bert Shipp's New Book

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Brett Shipp was among those who attended Jerry Haynes's funeral Saturday afternoon. The WFAA newsman was accompanied by his father, Bert, who was a familiar face on local television long before his son stepped out of his shadow. Bert and Jerry went way back -- they were among the first to break the news on November 22, 1963, that John Kennedy had been killed in Dealey Plaza. That's but one of dozens of moments recounted in Bert's new book, which just arrived in the mail: Details at 10: Behind the Headlines of Texas Television History.

I'll bother Mr. Shipp about it later, after I've had a chance to read the entire book. But an early-afternoon skim of its 158 pages suggests it's essential -- not just as a history of the city's news organizations durng its Pearl-and-Pall Mall days (Shipp had been at the Dallas Times Herald before jumping to TV), but as an unflinching history of modern-day Dallas. No matter the size of the story -- a president's assassination, protests over the segregated lunch counter at H.L. Green's, a traffic accident downtown, a one-on-Fab Four with the Beatles -- Shipp renders footnotes into must-reads. Take this introduction, for instance, from the frigid Christmas story about a charitable West Dallas minister named Brother Bill Harrod:
A deep depression seeped into my soul as I urged my cold-natured news unit across the unsightly Trinity River. The big, dirty ditch is part of what separates Dallas's "haves" from "have-nots." A misnamed Continental Boulevard merges into an unkempt Singleton Boulevard on the west side of the aging bridge. I had always thought that the grandiose name of "boulevard" should be applied to more affluent streets, not ugly thoroughfares running through pickets of poverty that empty into slums.
Elsewhere, he writes about his run-ins with Dallas's finest, his tenure at WBAP, covering county and city politics and Oak Cliff shootings. And, I swear, every chapter involves somebody pouring a drink. The good ol' days.
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Liz Oliphant
Liz Oliphant

If you'd like to chat with Bert, stop by the Barnes & Noble in Preston Royal this Saturday, 10/29 from 2-4 p.m.  I'm sure he'll continue to tell stories as he signs books. The world of journalism has changed but its fun to remember the good old days with a master of the craft.

Mike Capps
Mike Capps

Bert Shipp's news instincts, profound understanding of the news-gathering process, and his outstanding(if sometimes a bit raw) sense of humor, set him apart.  "Hoss," very simply was the best at his craft.  Those of us who spent years around him fully know and understand just how good he was.  I cannot wait to sit down with this book and read.  Bert's a one of a kind, mercurial, Texas treasure.  Best from Austin.  Mike Capps 

Happy!
Happy!

Unfortunately the son did not inherit the journalistic expertise of the father.  The gonzo journalism the son exudes via his current employer is nothing but trash beamed live and in color.  He apparently can't even spell the work objective, and his in your face style is as obnoxious as it is useless.  Maybe he could get a real job as a hair stylist!  Never mind, I don't think that would work either.  Your father might be proud of you Shipp, but only because he is your father. 

Gunslinger
Gunslinger

Happy - By the tone of your comment, you're anything but. Though I respect your opinion, I believe you're in the minority. Mr. Shipp has received multiple awards for his investigative reporting - to include the prestigious Peabody award. There's a simple fix for your dislike of Shipps reporting style. Change the channel

GAA
GAA

Looking forward to the read.  I remember Brother Bill's church.  They gave out donations to needy families during Christmas in Ledbetter (West Dallas).

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer

Bert owes you a commission, Robert. Just ordered the book and can't wait to read it. "Shipp Speaking" was a pleasure to work with.

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