Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Slinger retires

Joey Slinger, with 31 years of Toronto Star reporting and columns on his resume, retires today.

The former 1970s Toronto Sun gossip columnist turned 65 yesterday, which makes us wonder if the media vet's exit is voluntarily, or was he nudged out the door, cough, Jim Bawden, cough.

At the end of his final column today, Joey simply says: "This is my last column. I'm retiring. I will miss you. Nobody has ever had such glorious readers."

You don't quit journalism cold turkey. Joey no doubt has another 25 years in him, so we await word about why he's leaving the Star and what his next keyboard adventure will be.

We do know Joey's departure gives us another reason to not pick up the Star.

Sun vets have fond memories of the easy-going journalist, who got his start at the Guelph Mercury and made several stops along the way before joining the Sun.

As says in today's Star story, he impressed all of his poke-and-hunt colleagues with his touch typing.

"I never counted on growing old, that was the surprise thing," Joey says in today's Star story, but 65 ain't old these days. It's a springboard into a few more decades of writing.

Joey, a Star columnist since 1979, must always have seemed like a cub reporter to Star sports legend Milt Dunnell, who died just recently at 102.

So here's hoping Joey's exit is 100% voluntary now that forced retirement at 65 is no longer in favour or warranted.

All the best, Joey.

Hey, how about a return to your old Sun digs and the poke-and-hunt crowd? You are too much of a Toronto icon to fade to black.

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