Pryor Inquires: A valedictory

By Richard Pryor III
Executive Staff

I’m not sure what to say. This specific article has been staring me down for months now, and I am speechless. There is no inspiration today, nothing in the news, just my feelings. And it really can’t be encompassed by that old chestnut of “I’m going to Disney World,” as this ain’t a Super Bowl—it’s more like a marathon, if I’m being honest. So here it is––straight from the heart.

First of all, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me into your life, wherever you read this paper. Whether it’s with a print edition in Sewanee or somewhere else, or whether you’re one of our devoted online followers–– thank you for taking the time to read what I write, and thank you for letting me know what you think of what I write.

Secondly, I want to share an easy lesson with all of you: Trust the journalists. Trust that we know what we’re doing.

It still shocks me, over three years into this position, that there are people, including students, who for whatever reason, either don’t trust what a reporter has to say, or choose to denigrate the reporter by referring to some articles as “hatchet jobs.” 

We’re not here to ruin careers or to lie. We’re here to report the facts–– and facts are uncomfortable. Jesus said that the truth will set you free, but he never said anything about the truth making you comfortable. Trust the journalists. Respect the journalists you read. We all know what we’re doing.

Thirdly, I did want to note that this is not the last you’ll see of me in these pages. Pryor Inquires has six more editions to go next semester before we wrap it up. So please, keep reading (and even if this is all you read for, which I hope it’s not, keep reading after I leave).

And finally, a word of personal thanks. I never thought that I would be here when I came to Sewanee. It’s mind boggling to think that I, alongside the wonderful Matt Hembree (C’20), have been members of the Executive Staff for 39 issues of The Purple, dating all the way back to Issue 4 of Advent 2016. Matt has been a wonderful partner and his photography always enhances the work that the writers in this section do.

None of this would have happened without the three Editors-in-Chief who taught me everything I needed to know–– Lam Ho (C’17), who believed in me and saw potential; Robert Beeland (C’18), who mentored me and made me a better designer; and Fleming Smith (C’19), who challenged me to grow and learn. Their efforts have made me a better writer and editor. I couldn’t have been half as good at this job without them. Anything I have done here has been by standing on their shoulders–– as you can see, I only accept the best shoulders. It’s been an honor to be your Sports Editor for the last 36 issues.

As a sports fan and self-proclaimed pseudo-intellectual, Richard Pryor dives deeper into the merging of sports with politics, ethics, culture, and religion. This is his last issue as Sports Editor for The Purple, ending a reign of 36 issues.