Sam Venable, Charlie Daniel to share fish tales

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Readers

Few people spin yarns better than Sam Venable. Sit him down next to Charlie Daniel, and together, the fish tales and outright exaggerations reach new heights. Lucky for us, we can join in for a good chuckle at noon on Wednesday, May 8, at the East Tennessee History Center (601 S. Gay Street) when Sam and Charlie share keen observations from their latest collaboration “Naked Dining Is Not on My Menu and Other Whimsy.”

If you’re new to town and don’t know these fellows, you’re in for a treat. This from the back cover of their book:

“Charlie Daniel was the Knoxville Journal’s veteran editorial cartoonist when cub reporter Sam Venable joined the staff. It didn’t take long for their personalities and funny bones to mesh.

Charlie Daniel at desk at Knoxville News Sentinel prior to retirement in 2019

“Their comedic banter took a break when Venable became a feature writer for the Chattanooga Free Press. In 1970, Venable returned as the Knoxville News Sentinel’s outdoors editor, later as metro columnist. Daniel continued his editorial cartoon for the Journal until the paper ceased daily publication in 1992 and was immediately picked up by the News Sentinel. The two were back together, regularly racing each other to the Jar of Brilliant Ideals for inspiration.

“Venable retired from full-time newspaper writing in 2014 but still contributes a Sunday column. Daniel retired from the News Sentinel in 2019 – at age 89!

“Venable and Daniel are members of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame and East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. Each has been honored by organizations as diverse as the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and Society of Professional Journalists. The University to Tennessee’s Hodges Library houses professional memorabilia from both journalists – Venable’s in a couple of file folders, Daniel’s in voluminous special collection. Both are undecided about what they want to be when they grow up.”

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development Knox County Public Library


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