R.I.P. Bruce Felps

I was surprised and saddened to learn today via email that Bruce Felps has died.

Bruce had a long and remarkable career in the news biz, but I knew him as the publisher, editor and star reporter for The East Dallas Times, an online publication covering my part of our wonderful city. Over the last few years, I talked to Bruce fairly often by phone or email and worked for him and with him on a number of local stories. His energy and enthusiasm and sheer love for what he was doing were amazing. It’s hard to grasp that he’s gone.

He wasn’t supposed to be the story and he didn’t ask me to take pictures of him, but in the last year, when we worked together, I did take a couple snaps of him. Reviewing them today I noticed that, in every single picture, he is the active person. Here he is (on the left) talking to councilman Sheffie Kadane during a mayoral candidates campaign event at the East Dallas Country Club. Bruce is the underdressed guy on the left. He was cutting edge in one way — self-publishing the East Dallas Times online — and in other respects, he reminded me of the old-fashioned, hard-bitten news men I knew decades ago and who seem to be a rare breed these days. He was both a cynic and a softie at the same time.

The last time I worked with him was at the start of the summer, at a gala for the East Lake Veterinary Clinic on Northwest Highway. Here he is (on the right) talking to the director of the clinic (Dr Karen Fling) and the director of the pet orphanage.

I struggled through that gala. I was sicker than I realized and a day later, I was rushed to the hospital. Here we are, a few months later. I’m doing much better, and Bruce, who seemed to me indestructible, is dead. I remember very well how much energy he had that day, not just compared to me, but compared to anybody.

He was a fine and entertaining writer and he wrote regularly for the Dallas News and other publications.

I’d been meaning to get back in touch with him recently as my health improved. Now it’s too late. I wish I had gotten to know him better. I will miss him. My prayers and condolences to his family and close friends. I’m sure he’s already started a newsletter to provide daily coverage of his part of Heaven.

You can read a little more about Bruce on the Caring Bridge page his family put up for him. And the Dallas News web site has a nice little piece about his life and death.

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