"We're having some fun, at TheStreet.com."
would sing that phrase, his phrase, every day around these halls. He'd sing it first thing in the morning, sing it as he came by our desks, to check in, to see if all was good, to see if there was anything that needed doing, to see if he could do anything better. Sing it to see if we could do anything better. Together.
He'd sing it even when we weren't having fun at TheStreet.com.
I hear his singing now in my head with this oh so terrible news. Like everyone else, I miss the person who did his best to bring a smile to your work and bring order to the chaos. We miss the singer. We miss the editor. We miss the man.
Dave Morrow was the good part of journalism in the 21st century, the journalism that you could still do, that you could still afford, that didn't compromise and that built something lasting despite the vicissitudes of a devolving industry. For those of us who have been here long enough, Dave's the reason why, well, we have been here long enough. You see, we should have closed a long time ago, closed out of dispirit and disorganization and no sense of mission. Closed because of anger and rancor and the stench of failure.
But we didn't because Dave wasn't going to let that happen. He was going to come up with a way to make it all work together because there was something worth saying that others weren't saying. He figured out our voice and gave us pride and sense of place. Within that voice came several attributes that you want in a great editor: a desire to be compelling, a desire to tell the truth -- ask yourself, have you ever heard of even a whit of a question of editorial integrity here, even a tad of it? -- and a desire to be meaningful.
Above all, Dave desired us to be permanent and willed us to be permanent. He endured more than his share of struggle and strife to keep us lasting, from the unthinkable -- 9/11 -- to the endless cutbacks, to the crash of the dot-coms and the crash of the stock market and the red ink it washed over us. Throughout he demanded relevance and deftly held together so many disparate views and so many different, often difficult writers and personalities--present company included. He cared about his people, giving them credit, giving them strength and community and power.
He succeeded. Maybe more than he ever knew. He got us where we had to go. He accomplished what he had set out to do, make us lasting. And then it was time to teach what he learned and what he knew to another generation that didn't and doesn't know and now might not know because of his passing.
I miss Dave. I miss being on his page, a signature phrase that I would often smile at -- after all we sometimes weren't -- but I always felt comforted by. I liked being on Dave's page. It meant that I was doing it TheStreet.com way, which was his way, a way to stay together and keep the institution going forward with meaning and import. No matter what.
Like so many others, I can't believe that he's not here, can't believe he will never walk in that door again, can't believe we will never hear that song again, out loud, in his voice. Yet, Dave, we're going to have some fun again at TheStreet.com. Not here, not now, not today. The sting and sadness of your passing is too terrible to sing along with your memory. But we will again sometime soon, because you have told us and taught us, even in the depths of our most difficult moments here, that we are supposed to have fun while we put out the best financial journalism there is, and we will do so, to honor your memory.
Thanks Dave, for all you did, for us as an institution, for us as individuals, for us as your writers. For us as your friends.
Having some fun, at TheStreet.com. After all of these years together we have the melody down, Dave. Thanks for giving us that sweet tune, and so much more, in our many joyous years together.