You Can't Replace "Dave"

by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
You Can't Replace "Dave"

Heaven gained another icon Wednesday, as a rascally word rigger said goodbye to earth with a journalist's sign off "30". His son posted his passing on Facebook. 

David Peyton kept the opinion pages of the The Advertiser and Herald Dispatch humming. He would do alot of imaginative text to get a point in print about politics or local civics. That's not to  imply that Peyton deviated from "honest" writing, He had a gift for being as "honest" as the publisher would allow. He  wrote about environmental topics before anyone knew of an EPA existed. 

 

 All of us can speak or write it straight. Executives , though, hinder spitting it out and naming names. There's something called "facts" and the chill of  expensive litigation. 

He would be politely  "retired" from full time H-D employment, still the master of stirring up "the rest of the story" especially when a hands off topic needed a sly gut punch spin moved briefly to HNN. Self publication and the internet allowed Peyton's voice to continue unhindered by political correctness. 

Eventually, Dave's fans prodded executives to bring him back for guest columns. His column now included recognition of locals who aspired and achieved beyond expectations. 

Huntington has its share of unspoken rips creatively and humorously  pieced together. Appropriately, Dave played in the 1937 Flood (the band not the natural disaster) which included fellow HD journalist Charles Bowen. Sam St. Clair on harmonica kept the group together and thriving. 

Humor intertwined with politics. During a statewide election he ran "Fred the Dog" as a write in candidate for governor. 

Ironically, he passed on the day a West Virginia publication (Graffiti ) converted to a quarterly. You may not remember that   Ogdon rescued Michael Lipton's  ad supported "Village Voice." The newspaper chain rescued the  Charleston based entertainment and deeply critical commentary from the R.I.P. precipice. Of course, Ogdon toned down the rhetoric and for a while turned it to a statewide weekly. That was a "bridge too far," twice monthly worked best. Now, it's Graffiti Magazine. 

Peyton will be missed this election year. He won't pen a crisp "post Corno virus"  Huntington lifestyle either. He'll not mention rumbling bears, misdirected deers, or other overly zealous wildlife invading our "city."

Scott Caserta, the underdog challenging Mayor Williams , wrote: "A treasure has been lost. Dave argued gracefully and debated respectfully. Though common ground may have been filled with pot holes, he was good neighbor and friend over the years. Folklore and legends comes to mind with memories of this musician and journalist. "

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