Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with Jeff Klinkenberg by clicking on the video player above!
Every major daily newspaper has a few journalists whose work consistently rises above all others.
And there is an even smaller group of these top-notch reporters whose legends are beyond reproach and who are held in the highest esteem by their counterparts and readers alike.
Around these parts, that guy would be Jeff Klinkenberg.
Jeff Klinkenberg podcast excerpt: “I never quite understood my father. Even when I had a chance, when he was dying of Leukemia, I kind of inched my way up to it. But in the end, I couldn’t say, ‘Dad, what were you thinking?’ I carried a bunch of things for many years: depression, sadness, sometimes anger and rage. My kids saw that; they experienced that. They didn’t experience physical abuse like I did, but I could be angry, sometimes irrationally so. But my kids also saw a lot of love. As I forgave my dad I pray my kids will (forgive me). They definitely knew me better than I knew my parents.”
Klink – as he is best known – wrote for the St. Petersburg Times and its successor, the Tampa Bay Times, from 1977 to 2014. He has won numerous awards for his craft over the years, and collected dozens of his stories in the “Real Florida” book series, the latest of which is Son of Real Florida: Stories From My Life.
His stories bring to life a sometimes dying breed of original Floridians, roadside attractions, and a kind of crazy that comes from spending too much time exposed to the sun, no doubt.
Klink’s writing style makes the reader want to see the places he has seen and meet the friends he made along the way. Every story is accessible and delightful.
This is Jeff’s second visit to Mr. Media; he was last here to talk about his book Alligators in B-Flat.