A Reporter’s Recollection

By Kathleen Kreller

As my college newspaper adviser in the early 1990s, Dan Morris was one of my earliest mentors in journalism. He taught me to think in critical terms and to question everything. He was a kind and thoughtful man.

One of my fondest memories include trying to teach Dan to do the “running man” dance in the Arbiter’s offices to one of the day’s pop anthems. Dan refused to take off his Birkenstock sandals.

At some point, in a fit of moral outrage, I dug up and took his reserved parking sign from outside the Arbiter — one of two he had on campus. The sign ended up in someone’s garage. I’m sure Dan knew I took the sign, but he never said a word.

I remember making salsa with Dan and college paper chums during a New Year’s Eve party at his house. Dan would often feed starving college students by buying in bulk at the local canned food outlet.

Dan was what many of us called a floor-sitter. He would hold court, cross-legged, and try to convince college kids that the hammer dulcimer was “cool.”

Dan also was one of the first people I ever saw tote a laptop computer. He used it, prolifically, in the days long before the devices were common.

Kathleen Kreller is a reporter for the Idaho Statesman; this article first appeared there on March 22, 2011.