Saying Goodbye to David Specht, a Kind Man
I met David Specht at 23 years of age.
A recent graduate of the now defunct School of Journalism at Northwestern in Natchitoches, I came to Minden as a young, eager and raw reporter.
I had some miles logged under the tutelage of a Louisiana newspaper legend, Mr. Sam Hanna, but that time was short and I was anxious to grow, to stretch, to have my byline attached to award-winning prose.
So I came to Minden. And my life changed in ways I could never have imagined during those long nights assembling the university newspaper in the dim halls of the Kyser building on the campus of Northwestern.
Mr. Specht introduced himself to me on that December afternoon, just past Christmas and just days after my wedding.
A tall, slim figure, his handshake was iron and his eyes a cool steely blue. I wax poetic now, thinking back on that day. He was intimidating, never a doubt, but I would soon learn that there was a great kindness in his heart.
In short, he was the best man not named Dwight Beavers I have ever known.
I have heard tales. Stories of a David Specht who was difficult to work with, difficult for which to work. These are curious remarks. I never saw that man in the ten years I worked for David Specht.
I only saw a man who cared deeply about his business, his life’s work. I only saw a man who cared deeply about his community. I only saw a man who wanted the best for both.
Like any successful man of business, Mr. Specht expected those he worked with to do their best. And like any successful man of business, he discovered that a lot of people have no desire to do such a thing.
But I did, and I do. He pushed me, encouraged me and celebrated with me. In the beginning, he walked at my side, teaching me new things, helping me when I made mistakes.
As time passed, he put more faith in me. He entrusted me with his newspaper, named me Publisher and Editor, the only person without Specht as a last name to have that honor.
Just like a father, Mr. Specht had faith in me even when I had none in myself. When I had tough times both professionally and personally, he would counsel me, lift me.
He was a gentle yet firm hand that helped guide me as I grew as a publisher. As I grew as a man.
He was loved and he will be missed.
For you see life at the Minden Press-Herald will never be the same.
However, along with his son, David Jr., and his longtime business partner, our company’s president Nila Johnson, I hope to continue what he dedicated his life to – delivering the news to you, constant reader, every day.
He dedicated his life to quality. To doing his best.
So to will we.
It was a pleasure knowing you David Specht. That’s 30 for you. And what a great 30 it was.