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17 years and he’s out of here

Robert Shaffer

BURBANK -- Bob Young Sr., who has been writing good news in the pages

of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and Foothill Leader for 17

years, retires today.


Young started covering service clubs in the region about 17 years ago

after a 50-year printing career and lots of experience with volunteer


“Bob’s an icon,” said Jack Ricketts, a Glendale resident and member of


the Burbank-Magnolia Park Optimist Club. “Through his efforts, service

clubs have got the best publicity. He has helped them become stronger.”

Nearly two decades ago, Young’s first assignment was covering a

watermelon festival sponsored by the Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club.

“It was hotter than blazes,” he said.

There have been too many highlights to mention since, he said. In his

17 years, Young, 88, has written about well-known groups like the Elks,

the Kiwanis and the Rotary, and not-so-well known clubs such as the


Burbank Emblem Club. The groups he wrote about built halfway houses,

planted trees, awarded good students and teachers and raised money for

countless other causes.

Service clubs are important parts of local communities, Young said,

filling in the cracks people can fall through. National organizations of

local groups have embarked on million-dollar efforts to rid the world of

maladies such as polio and iodine deficiencies, he said.

“That is the whole thought -- to do for people what the government


can’t do and should not do,” he said.

Young came to California in 1946 and owned printing businesses while

living in La Canada Flintridge. After retiring, he answered an

advertisement and started writing for the newspaper.

He has had a pretty good record over 17 years, missing only two


“I had the flu,” he said.

He is looking forward to his second retirement of working around the

house and building early-American furniture, something he has been

putting off since 1983. And he will continue to work with the seven or

eight organizations of which he is still a member.

Young said he has learned the secret to writing a column for the past

17 years.

“If you know your subject, you can write on it,” he said. “I’ve

enjoyed it thoroughly.”