Why retired CJ reporter Sheldon Shafer wrote over 100 reports on the Louisville Clock

Sheldon Shafer's last day on the job

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- He watched Louisville grow from a city that retreated from downtown in the 1970's to one that is vibrant. The man who covered it all at the Courier-Journal retired today. It was Sheldon's Shafer's last day on the job.

His wife, Becky, and his daughter joined him as a large group of CJ employees told funny and amazing stories about the well-known journalist.

It’s estimated that Shafer has written 25,000 stories since joining the paper in 1973. He wrote about the city's most fascinating projects that worked and those that didn’t.

One story he seemed to love the most: the original Louisville Clock created by sculptor Barney Bright. It really never worked, out in the elements, and neither did its modern predecessor.

I asked him why he loved that clock.

Shafer says, “It was so unusual, just a complete innovative contraption, nobody had seen the likes thereof. How could you not like it?  It just sort of caught my fancy. I thought it was worth preserving, so I tried to promote it a little bit.

The original clock from the 70’s was located on 4th street near Chestnut on what was then called The River City Mall. Shafer remembers the man who created it and the colorful characters that told the time, “Barney Bright, the sculptor, was a character and a Louisville original. He created something that was a Louisville original. It was one of a kind. It remains one of a kind, and I’d just like to see it functioning somewhere again.”

How many Louisville clock stories did he write? He says, “I think I lost count after the first 100, maybe.”

The folks from Louisville Slugger presented Sheldon with a signed Chicago White Sox bat.

Former Jefferson County Judge Executive Rebecca Jackson was one of many who spoke about Shafer's dedication to fairness and accuracy. He was presented honors by Mayor Greg Fischer, Waterfront Director David Karem and his longtime Courier-Journal co-workers.

At age 73, Sheldon Shafer is retiring after 44 years with the newspaper.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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