In a few months longtime News columnist Ed Arnow will turn 90, and while he doesn't intend to settle down completely, he is planning on slowing the pace a bit this year.
This week the last of "The Buzz" column will run in the Brentwood/Antioch/Oakley/Pittsburg News so that he can spend the rest of his days traveling, continuing to be a news junkie and reading and people watching.
"Life can be simplified if you are looking for it to be," Arnow said.
Arnow's career as a journalist started many years before local residents began seeing his name alongside "The Buzz" column he began writing for the Brentwood News in 2000. A World War II veteran, Arnow decided to study journalism on the East Coast after he came home from the war. He later took his first reporting job for the Stockton Record.
Arnow soon became a writer for broadcast news for KNBC radio in San Francisco. "At the time things were a lot different. My job was to write news stories for the broadcasters to read on air," Arnow said, recalling his work in the 1950s.
Arnow said his big break was a story he wrote on a plane crash that received the attention from network officials. "I received my first chance to talk into the microphone," he said.
He didn't know at the time, but the NBC officials were working on changing the format of how broadcasting was presented and his one shot got him noticed, giving him the opportunity to become one of three writers who would become local network correspondents. Arnow, stationed in San Francisco, was able to join the ranks with David Brinkley, out of New York, and John Chancellor, out of Chicago.
Arnow's time with KNBC lasted from 1954 to 1965. Arnow left KNBC in 1965 to join the faculty at UC Berkeley teaching journalism. In 1969 he received a special government professorship to teach journalism in Turkey for one year. When he came back to the United States, Arnow once again joined the ranks of journalism as a reporter for KPIX in 1970, where he won two Emmy Awards.
After staying on for more than a decade with KPIX, Arnow took on a few other journalism roles before finally retiring for the first time. During his time as a broadcast journalist, he covered many noteworthy stories, including anchoring the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley and the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
He also was NBC's South American bureau chief operating from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in 1963-64 and worked as an ABC correspondent in the Middle East in Ankara, Turkey in 1969-70. His final story was covering the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.
During his time in broadcast journalism he traveled through all seven continents covering stories around the world.
"Journalism is the greatest career in the world," Arnow said. "It is one of the few careers where you are continually learning about new things through the stories you are covering."
At a cocktail party in 2000 Arnow was chatting with then Ledger Dispatch editor Becky Barron, and was asked if he would be interested in starting a weekly column. Always keeping up with current events, Arnow liked the idea. "The Buzz" was started as a man-on-the-street interview column.
"I like to call it a man on the street combined with talk radio," he said.
Arnow liked that he had a chance to delve into the controversial subjects, but also liked when he had the chance to do funny columns, as well.
"Somehow it all worked," he said.
Arnow's last column features another timely and controversial issue: gun control changes blowing in the wind.