Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Scorchy Tawes, RIP

I knew not of Scorchy Tawes before today, but according to widespread reports, a Master has passed. Consider the evidence: a brush with the lens during World War II, nearly 30 years in the TV trenches, 2,000 stories on the evening news - most centering around everyday folk in the great outdoors. Yes Sir, this Delmarva native with an eye for the poetic and the quirky lived a life well worth remembering. Which is what an awful alot of people on the Eastern Shore are doing - now that Scorchy is gone. From b-roll.net founder Kevin Johnson, who had the honor of working with the local legend early in his career.
"It was an amazing opportunity for a young photog like me to be able to shoot stories with such a storyteller. He taught me how to look and listen. Follow the people and their faces, and you’ll find the story, he explained."
Sage advice from someone who knew. Described as a cross between Robert Frost and Charles Kuralt, C. Norris "Scorchy" Tawes was considered by many as the bard of the Eastern Shore. For more than a quarter of a century at WBOC, he did the finest thing a local television journalist can do: reflect the people and the region that surrounds your station. Tawes did just that and he came to embody his beloved beat. A talented writer, photog and editor who inspired more people than he eventually covered in his long and storied TV career, Scorchy left his impressions on the minds of millions. Not bad for a local fellow who could have very well perished in the Battle of the Bulge. Rest In Peace.


jeff amernick said...

Stew, Thanks for posting something on Scorchy. I worked with him for 2 years in the very beginnings of my tv career. First story with him was on a one-armed fiddler. I was scared to death, working with this local legend, but Scorchy put me to ease and just told me to get lots of tight shots. Hands, fiddle, eyes...and to listen to what the fiddler had to say. He was the first person to teach me that the story is about the person...not about the fiddle, or whatever was happening at the time.

Scorchy was a legend, but he was the most down-home "celeb" I've ever met. Never could understand why people made a big deal over him.

Scorchy is a big deal. Thanks for remembering him.

Jeff Amernick WXII-tv

Lenslinger said...

Jeff, thanks for the note. I waffled on whether to write anything about Scorchy or not - as I didn't have an awful lot to add to the collective eulogy. But th life he led spoke to me of course and I would have been ignoring my mission statement (whatever that is) if I hadn't at least tried. Your comment made me glad I did.

Jeff Amernick said...

you would of liked him man...he was your kind of dude. he would have given you some hokey nickname...mine was "muskrat" because I fell in the marsh shooting a muskrat trapping story and i grew a goatee long before they became popular.

hope you stayed dry today


Home equity loan said...

First story with him was on a one-armed fiddler. I was scared to death, working with this local legend, but Scorchy put me to ease and just told me to get lots of tight shots.

Anonymous said...

scorchy was hero of mine. as i grew up on"the shore" my daddy and i watched him all the time. i was completely blown into place by his "what it means to be an easternshoreman" segment.i now live in oregon. every mile i set between myself and that mentaliity mkaes me one tear sadder.i loved wanderin our delmarvalous land. and i loved scorchy.