tony gonzalez journalist
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About
Online portfolio and blog by Tony Gonzalez, family issues reporter for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. I married my high school sweetheart, Katie, a designer and bookbinder. I like juggling, maps, baseball, and bullmastiffs.

Career
Two years at The Tennessean, July 2011 to present. Three years reporting and editing at The News Virginian, 2008 to 2011. Editor of college and high school newspapers. Internships at The Star Tribune, The Detroit News, and The Toledo Free Press. Chips Quinn Scholar 2007.

Honors
Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors 2012 statewide Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, as well as the Freedom of Information award, for Department of Children's Services project.

Gannett company-wide award 2012 for Watchdog Journalism

Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 International Perspective First Place for "The Borders Within," as well as Public Service Honorable Mention for investigation into troubled children's psychiatric hospital

2009 and 2010 winner, with staff, of the Virginia Press Association's highest award: the Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service.

Virginia Press Association 2008, 2009, and 2010 awards for crime, investigative, breaking news, and feature writing

2011 Robert Novak Fellow

Michigan Collegiate Press Association "Journalist of the Year" 2008

Chips Quinn Scholar, Class of 2007

Civil Rights Project DCS project
Borders Within Multimedia
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Alcohol takes Nashville teen to the bottom and back


By Tony Gonzalez
The Tennesssean

The parents sensed something amiss when their teen daughter went to school three days in a row wearing the same clothes — hair uncombed — to start her senior year.

Not long before, she had enthusiastically toured colleges, asking questions and imagining campus life. But as the school year began in August 2013, Regan Webber told her mother, Trey, and father, Gerald, that she no longer wanted to take the ACT or go off to college after graduation.

What the Bellevue couple couldn’t figure out was whether Regan’s dour moods, complicated lies and escalating alcohol use were anything more than the typical grabs for independence of a normal 17-year-old.

Read the full story at Tennessean.com.

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by Tony @ 11:36 AM, : comments: 0
Friday, January 17, 2014
Vintage book covers: Illustrations
Flood Friday Lois Lenski book cover

These four illustrated book covers come from a variety of sources. We found "Flood Friday," along with some other Lois Lenski books, from a local collector/bookseller. The "Gravity" book below, one of my favorites in our house, came from a good friend who frequents estate sales.

The last book included here probably has the best book title I know (there's one that competes, which I'll mention in a moment). The book, "What Kinda Cactus Izzat?" has special meaning to my wife and I, because I proposed to her inside a cactus and succulent greenhouse in Michigan. We've had an affinity for cacti ever since.

Gravity vintage book

Shining Bridges vintage book cover

What Kinda Cactus Izzat?

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by Tony @ 9:07 PM, : comments: 0
Friday, January 10, 2014
The quest to be Tennessee's top blood donor

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Wear and tear on a #businesscard noticed #onassignment today. #RedCross #behindthescenes
Inside the Red Cross offices in Nashville, where success in the daily mission is literally measured in blood, one man can motivate even veteran staff members to give one more time.

Because it’s hard to resist the example set by Nathan Baker.

The 60-year-old Madison man has given more blood than anyone else in a 70-county area that includes most of Tennessee and Kentucky and parts of Illinois and Missouri. He also happens to work out of the Nashville Red Cross office as a roving teacher, speaking about the life-or-death importance of blood donation in hundreds of classrooms each year.

So what does it take to be the No. 1 donor?

Baker recently let nurses prick his forearm for the 500th time, a one-of-a-kind accomplishment in the region that has yielded some 63 gallons of blood. The average human body contains up to 1.5 gallons.

Local Red Cross records say that’s more than anyone else — a coveted title that feeds a competitive urge — and a testament to Baker’s consistent giving since his first timid trip to the donation chair, 41 years earlier, as a freshman at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Read the full story at Tennessean.com.

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by Tony @ 1:54 PM, : comments: 0
Thursday, January 09, 2014
A different kind of notable deaths story

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One of the most interesting things I found during a year of close reading of the obits. These ran on back-to-back days. Both would be odd images for an obit — they're actually one photo, just cropped to the wrong person the first day.
Two years ago, I watched an editor spend almost a week digging through a year's worth of newspapers to assemble a list of notable deaths before the year was up. Last year, I basically duplicated that kind of last-minute effort.

In 2013, I started collecting obituaries on Jan. 1, in a manila envelope that soon grew fat. By the fall, I'd turned up a few beautiful obituaries written by families, and a collection of odd and endearing nicknames that families deemed worthy of inclusion in their remembrances.

Coupled with my recent reading of "The Dead Beat," about obituary writers (a book I've wanted to read for a couple years), I was primed for an end-of-the-year send up on the art of obit writing.

Here's what we delivered: two short narratives about families approaching obit writing and a lengthy round-up of notable deaths with an emphasis on unsung locals.

:: What to say when words don't come easy
:: When a nickname fits, it follows to the grave
:: Tennesseans who changed the world

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by Tony @ 2:00 PM, : comments: 0
Monday, January 06, 2014
Vintage book covers: interesting type and design
Gregg Shorthand book

The first in a series of occasional posts about vintage books, book covers, and book design. We've been collecting old books for years, some to be displayed as part of a collection, and others to be repurposed in various projects.

This series of covers highlights interesting type treatments and compositions. I plan to post another sequence of covers with elaborate illustrations.

Practical Mathematics vintage book cover

Morals of Tomorrow vintage book cover

Vintage book Spanish dictionary

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by Tony @ 7:25 PM, : comments: 0
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Books of 2013
Mostly read baseball and obituary books this year.

Surprisingly good: "The Casual Vacancy"
Disappointing: "Telegraph Avenue"
One to recommend: "The Dead Beat"

Full list:
:: "52 McGs," the best obits by Robert McG. Thomas Jr.
:: "The Children," David Halberstam
:: "Hidden History of Nashville," George Zepp
:: "Telegraph Avenue," Michael Chabon
:: "Summer of 1964," David Halberstam
:: "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball"
:: "5 Catches," Jay Gilligan
:: "The Dead Beat," Marilyn Johnson
:: "The Casual Vacancy," J.K. Rowling
:: "Citizen Welles," Frank Brady

Excerpts:
:: "Deadline Artists"
:: "The Socialite Who Killed A Nazi with Her Bare Hands"

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by Tony @ 7:47 PM, : comments: 0
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Pike photography

I often go driving on the weekends and am inevitably drawn to the pikes of Nashville, those main arteries that radiate out from the core of the city. They are places of colorful hand-lettered signage on businesses, ethnic restaurants, and their fair share of blighted buildings. This fall and winter, I've been better about exploring with my camera in hand.

These first three photos are from Gallatin Pike and the last two from Dickerson Pike.
 
orange ADIDAS shoes

Gallatin Road body shop lettering

Dickerson Pike abandoned building

American flag on Dickerson Pike

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by Tony @ 6:51 PM, : comments: 0
#steam

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#whiskey #steam #jackdaniels #distillery

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by Tony @ 6:19 PM, : comments: 0
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