I can't remember any one statement that Tony said to me that made me think I could do the thing I had always wanted to do, and in fact had been doing in my own half-baked way since I was a child. I don't think there was one (although it was okay with him if I skipped the five Ws in my newspaper leads). Rather, there was something about his spirit. It was big. Huge in fact. And he was big. Very big. It was always comforting to be around him; in fact, I had the distinct sense that he himself was a kind of land mass, not unlike the desert itself - always there if you needed him, ready to listen, a mirror of your own self, and your best and higher self at that.
Around Tony, you knew what the heart of a story was; you just needed to figure out how to get there. If you couldn't get there right away, that was ok; deadlines were for sports reporters and somehow, he made you understand that stories unfold in their own time; like the land, I came to realize, they have seasons.
LATimes.com is running the AP obit everybody else has, but there is a video produced in house a couple of years ago. Link
Also around LA Observed: The Register's circulation plunges 15%, and Sara Catania writes in her marathon blog Run On that her tendency to get lost takes on new meaning now that she's training. "My internal compass is so skewed that frequently I set off in precisely the wrong direction and proceed that way for quite some time before I realize my error....The day I moved to Southern California sixteen years ago I became a lifelong friend of Tom, as in Thomas Guide, and in more recent years Iíve accumulated a thick folder of MapQuest printouts."