On the scent of a story, he was not just tenacious, but relentless. His regular sources came to realize that when George Hohmann called, they might as well give up the goods. He wasn't going to stop calling. Ever.
If I could extract that one trait from his DNA, I would concoct a serum and inject every young reporter who entered the newsroom. Actually, I would go for more - his deep knowledge of his subject matter, his finely honed organizational skills and his flawless copy.
He's an old-style newspaper guy of the best kind, yet he kept up with the tumultuous change that never slowed during a four-decade career.
He was tweeting from events as his final day approached this week. I attended one of those, a luncheon meeting where he was honored. He ate quickly and proceeded to peck away on his laptop, taking notes as others chatted and enjoyed the meal.
George didn't change his mind about retirement, and his last day was Friday.
I take some solace in the fact that he has agreed to continue writing for us occasionally. He plans to freelance for other entities as well.
In true George manner, he is approaching this methodically. He will establish his own website. He is consulting a business coach.
He also dreams of balmy hours watching baseball in Appalachian Power Park. Ever frugal, he hopes to get a job with a vendor. He asked if I would give him a reference.
What shall I say when they call?
Well, sure, he can sell peanuts and make change accurately. With that voice, marketing his wares should be a cinch.
But perhaps they could tap his higher-order skills, maybe have him write game summaries to post online. I guarantee he would spell the difficult Hispanic names right. He would nail the stats.
Meanwhile at the Daily Mail, his successor, Jared Hunt, will move into the little office. He can't match the voice, but we won't have trouble keeping track of him either. A bundle of restless energy, he regularly pops out of his chair to make fast-paced circuits around the newsroom.
He wears his thick, wavy hair in a style appropriately conservative for a business editor but not as short as George's.
After my own long years in this business, I realize that the cast of newsroom characters must evolve. That doesn't make it easy. I'm going to miss that flattop.
Friend is editor and publisher of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-5124 or nan...@dailymail.com.