A digital special section of | Subscribe

Rich Archbold

Rich Archbold

Executive editor | Long Beach Press-Telegram | Class of 1960

We say college, longtime Long Beach Press-Telegram executive editor Rich Archbold says ...

"My fraternity, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Hell Week.

"Bitter cold winters going to class freezing, exciting football and basketball games and singing the Illini Hymn.

"Sometimes hitchhiking back and forth between Champaign and Chicago. Did I really do that?

"Panty raids — I didn’t participate; I covered them for The Daily Illini. Serenading sororities. Dutch Elm disease destroying so many beautiful trees. Kam’s at night. 

"The list goes on, but there’s one spot that always inspires me and fills me with emotion. Here’s my story. 

“When I arrived in Champaign as a wide-eyed freshman, the first spot I headed for was the Daily Illini office. I had been editor of my high school newspaper, the GlenBard in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and some people said I had ink in my veins. I wanted badly to work on the DI, which was like The New York Times to me. 

"Then I found out where the newspaper was — in the basement of Illini HallYikes, I thought; what kind of newspaper can you have in a basement? But I quickly learned to love that basement. 

"The excitement of working with reporters, photographers and editors putting out one of the best college papers in the nation was intoxicating. My first city editor, Pete Weitzel, son of Chicago Daily News columnist Tony Weitzel, was a demanding editor but one who taught me so much that was to help me throughout my journalistic career. 

"One of the most colorful characters I got to know at the DI was a grizzled, old, cigar-chomping compositor, Orville Moore. Orville wore an apron as he put together the paper every night. At first, he eyed me with a little suspicion, wondering if I really had ink in my veins like he did. Eventually, we became best friends and he took me under his wing. 

"He was a great storyteller and a perfectionist in wanting accuracy in stories. I learned about the importance of meeting deadlines from Orville. All it took was a stare from him letting  you know you were late with a story. I can still smell the fragrance of his cigar and the sweet smell of newsprint and ink.

“Those nights putting the paper to bed with Orville and then wandering off to Kam’s for a beer or two are etched in my mind forever. More than he knew, Orville inspired me to get things first but first get them right. 

"At the time, I’m not so sure I understood all he was teaching me. In looking back, he was one of the most remarkable people in my life. It didn’t matter that we were producing a newspaper from a basement. To me, it was the most beautiful place at the University of Illinois."