OF BULLETINS AND BOOZE
A NEWSMAN’S STORY OF RECOVERY
by Bob Horton
Genre: Journalism / Memoir
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: March, 2017
Number of Pages: 284
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Bob Horton began his journalism career as a reporter for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Innate skill and good fortune took him from a modest Texas farm upbringing to Washington, DC, where he was thrown into the high-pressure world of the wire service, first as a correspondent for the Associated Press, and later for Reuters news agency. The stress was intense, but he found the rush to be intoxicating.
From his early days covering the Dallas murder trial of Jack Ruby, through three colorful decades as a newsman, Horton often found himself witnessing history in the making. He covered the Pentagon during the early days of the Vietnam War, was on board a Navy ship in the Mediterranean awaiting Israel’s expected attack on Egypt, was witness to the Watergate burglary trial, and attended a Beverly Hills church service with then-President-elect Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy.
The success Horton enjoyed as a journalist mostly hid the dark side of his career: a gradual descent into alcoholism. Of Bulletins and Booze candidly recounts the unforgettable moments of Horton’s career, as well as more than a few moments he would just as soon forget.
Of Bulletins and Booze – A Review
“A new day dawned and once more I could be grateful for not feeling that obsession for pouring alcohol into my body to banish a fear or some other unknown demon.”
Fear is something we all deal with in different ways. Gary Horton poignantly takes a reader down his road on how he dealt with it in both his professional and personal life. He turned to alcohol.
Of Bulletins and Booze is a well-written conservational toned book that details the life of a reporter and what drinking did to its author. Mixed with personal growing up occurrences and his reporting it is an uncomplicated memoir of the evolution from his growing up in a small West Texas community to working in Washington, D.C.
Readers get a glimpse of his work from being a reporter with the Associated Press to working with the Post Master General Information Staff, Reuters, US News and World Report, and even the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. With Horton’s keen eye he noticed a single man carrying a brown case in the hospital where President Kennedy laid who carried a case to Lyndon Johnson which contained the codes to bombs and nuclear weapons. It’s an unknown, simple part of history. It’s these single moments in time that made Horton a good reporter and journalist. Through this memoir, Horton offers a realistic look into his journalism career and alcoholism and how it affected his life.
Want to learn bits of history? How in the end did alcoholism affect his life? Who was the man carrying the brown case? What in the world are “whore doves?” Well – you’ll have to read the book to find out. Horton states at the end, “He survived. He did live.” He survived to share his story, along with the history he experienced.
Bob Horton has been in the news business for more than fifty years. In 1966 he received the Top Reporting Performance Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors organization, and in 1968 he and an AP cohort were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for general coverage of the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. Today he is a radio news anchor with shows in Lubbock and Victoria, Texas. He lives in Lubbock.
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