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June 30, 2007


Paul Schindler

In 1975, Norman was doing fill-in work in the Boston Bureau (BH) of UPI while finishing up at MIT; I worked at AP. We were roommates. We shared a cab home (the T shut down before the end of our shift). One night, he said, "I'll be over as soon as I've cleared up this 5-car fatal in Taunton." I spent the next hour searching for the accident. Norm was doubled over with laughter when he pulled up in the cab.

AP laid me off in December. Norm spent a lot of time that spring in Washington, working on his thesis about CIA oversight. One day, Jim Wieck, comcenter manager in Boston at the time, calls to ask if Norm can pull a radio wire trick that night. "He's out of town; I can do it," I told him. Fortunately, Norm had a copy of the UPI radio stylebook in the closet; I read it on the train on the way into Boston, and had a great first shift from 4-midnight. A month later, I was hired full time. Norm got me my job--along with so many other great things he did for me.

Christopher Connell

My deepest sympathy to Norm's mom, brothers and Raeanne. We worked alongside each other (literally) when I was in the AP booth for the first Bush presidency, and sat side by side in the then-new Air Force One. Norm always was unflappable, in looks and behavior. When we dressed up in black tie to cover a state dinner, or revel at the WHCA shindig, Norm looked to the manner born while the rest of us clearly were in unfamiliar garb. I was thinking of him two months back when my newly graduated daughter lit off for Iowa to toil in the caucuses.
God bless and God rest you, Norm.

Bill Hoop

I was UPI bureau manager in Iowa when this guy Sandler came around looking for work and I had either the good sense or the good luck to hire him, as he turned out to be one of the best Unipressers ever. He was a terrific reporter, a great writer and a helluva fun guy. During our years in Iowa there were thousands of stories from the Statehouse and elsewhere that Norm generated. He even volunteered to help out on football Saturdays, though we did have a problem with some sports editors one time when he confused "cornerback" and "quarterback" (I don't think he'd ever heard of a cornerback) and had the Iowa State (or some school) quarterback intercepting a pass.

Norm loved bizarre stories, like the one about an international conference focused on towing icebergs from the Arctic to Africa and the Middle East to increase the water supply there. His lead on the initial story was something like, "Centrally located between two oceans, Iowa today began hosting a three-day conference, etc., etc." He covered the event and ended up with a few great AAA wire stories, as I recall.

Norm and I played golf a lot, along with Tom Peterson, the bureau photog. One time Norm was standing on a green that was near a tee box. Some guy shanked his drive and the ball hit Norman right in the temple. Fortunately, it hit on the frame of Norm's glasses or it might have killed him since it hit so hard that it popped the lenses out of the glasses. Unfazed, he put on some sunglasses and we finished the round.

Those were great days and even though we lost touch over the years, I always considered Norm a good friend and I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing.

Pam Huey

I adored Norm. Norm and I worked together covering the Iowa Legislature in 1977-78. He covered the Senate and I the House. I was always in awe of Norm's ability to dictate stories off the top of his head -- long, complicated stories. He was always kind and patient with me, someone not as talented or wise as he. Then, I got to be his friend.

My favorite Norm story was when he was taking dictation from a Des Moines staffer who had covered a Anita Bryant news conference. The staffer dictated her entire story and then said, "oh, by the way, someone threw a pie in Anita Bryant's face." Norm said incredulously: "What? tell me more." The staffer then said, "Well, then she and her husband got on their knees and started to pray." And of course Norm said again, "Tell me more." And then he crafted a story that portrayed the drama of that news conference.

Deborah Minard

I met Norman in Santa Barbara, Ca while he was there covering the vacationing Ronald Regan. I actually went to the corrospondence dinner hosted by Presedent Regan, with Norman. It was a very exciting time for me. Spending time in the "press room" telexes (remember those)flying everywhere. Norman typing his articles using the two fingered method.
I actually reconnected with Norman at the time of Regans death. He "suffering" in Mexico City with all of the hoopla happening in DC.
I have thought of Norman often and fondly over the years. I was hoping to come across his email address again when I found the announcement of his death. I was deeply saddened to hear of it. I have many photos of Norman from that period of his life. They are of course not digital. I will see if I can find a way to submit them your parusal. It was a high high time.
Our group of revelors included Larry Rubenstein, AP, David Mac Allary, VOA
Karen Knowles, BHUSD and Joyce who happily handled all of their car rentals from Avis.

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