Dale J. Bain, Deseret News assistant managing editor, will retire July 31 after 40 years with the newspaper, and he says he will miss not only his many friends at the News, but the excitement of being a part of what he calls "the big story."
In his long career with the Deseret News, Bain has been involved in a cornucopia of news events - from sports to local and world news. "Everything from major skiing competition and high school sports rivalry to wars, earthquakes, dam disasters, murders, robberies, space exploration, assassinations, Watergate, the Cold War, the arms race and a multitude of other big stories."Through all those years, he says, technology and the process of printing the news have changed, but there has been little change in the people who make news or the people who gather and report it and, always, "there have been deadlines to meet.
"I've always fought the clock, trying to get as many stories, small and big, in the paper in as little time as possible so the Deseret News can be delivered to people's doorsteps - the best product we can produce every day."
In the past four decades, the biggest changes in newspaper production, he said, have been in electronics. "Where once we pounded on manual typewriters, used hot-lead Linotype machines and printed from heavy lead plates on the press, we now type on computers and use electronic editing and makeup to such an extent that there is hardly any paper used in the the newsroom until the final product is produced."
"More and more of the jobs that used to be accomplished in the printing plant are now accomplished in the newsroom," Bain said.
"I've enjoyed my life at the Deseret News. Every day has been different. I never knew what I'd run into from one day to the next. It has been exciting, enlightening, sometimes sad and, often, entertaining. It has certainly never been dull."
Bain spent three weeks in Central and South America in 1974 as a Deseret News representative observing dictatorships and revolutionaries in action firsthand, a trip he remembers as not only educational, but at times dangerous and exciting.
The assistant managing editor, who will be 65 on July 9, grew up in Salt Lake City and got his first taste of newspapering as sports editor of the Jackson Junior High School newspaper. "I was bitten by the newspaper bug early," he said.
He became editor of the West High School newspaper, the Red and Black, and after graduating from high school in 1942, he got a job as copy boy for the Salt Lake Tribune. But his newspaper career had to wait while he went into the U.S. Army during World War II.
For three years, from January 1943 until January 1946, he was assigned to a searchlight battalion in an anti-aircraft artillery unit that served in New Guinea and, near war's end, in the Philippines.
Even in the Army, Bain managed to get involved in newspapering and helped write for and edit his battalion newspaper.
After he returned home, Bain enrolled at the University of Utah, majored in journalism and was editor of the university's newspaper, the Chronicle, in 1948 and 1949.
Bain joined the Deseret News as state desk makeup editor a year before graduating, and the day after earning his diploma, in June 1949, he joined the Deseret News sports staff as makeup editor and also covered high school sports and wrote a ski column.
He met his wife, Margaret, at the Deseret News. She had graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 and had come directly to the News as a reporter and, later, a society writer. She and Bain were married in the summer of 1952.
The printing foreman allowed Bain to print several special front page editions of the News to announce their engagement with a huge headline and story. "We sent them out as announcements," Bain said, smiling in recollection. A few months later, his wife left the News to become a full-time homemaker. The Bains have three children, two of whom have pursued careers in communications.
In 1953, Bain moved to the paper's copy desk as a copy editor and later served as chief copy editor, then assistant wire editor and wire editor. In December 1972 he was named news editor, a post he held until May 1, 1987, when he became assistant managing editor.
A bicycle enthusiast, Bain has ridden his bicycle to work for nearly a decade. He is an accomplished bagpipe player and performed with the Utah Pipe Band for several years, beginning in 1948, and formed the Salt Lake Scots in 1964, serving as the band's pipe major for six years.
After retiring, Bain says, he hopes to travel with his wife, go on bicycle rides and perhaps return to the Salt Lake Scots.