Gitt and his Gazette sported same eccentricities

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J.W. Gitt
A visit to J.W. Gitt’s former mansion overlooking Hanover last week said much about the longtime owner of the Gazette and Daily.
There was a putting green near the house, that reflected his love of golf.
Solar panels still heat water in the house, fitting for his concern about the environment.
His largely untouched library of thousands of Cold War-era volumes reminded one of those heady days when his small-town leftist newspaper had subscribers in big cities around the world. …


I was at Gitt’s house, now the Gitt Memorial Library, to help in the editing process of Mary Allienne Hamilton’s soon-to-be-published Gitt biography “Rising from the Wilderness.”(To see excerpts from the preface, click here.)
The York County Heritage Trust will publish the hardcover volume before midyear.
Which reminds me of my favorite Gitt anecdote, contained in Hamilton’s manuscript. Harvey Loucks of York wrote an op-ed piece after seeing 200th anniversary articles about the Gazette and Daily, its predecessors and its successor, the York Daily Record.
Loucks, Central High’s golf coach in the early ’70s, watched a frail old man playing at Hanover Country Club.
We’ll pick up Loucks’ account from here:

He was in a golf cart which was being driven by a much younger and rather attractive woman. She would help the man from the cart, give him a club, and he would hit the ball about 20 yards, straight down the middle of the fairway. Then he would slowly, almost painfully, climb back into the cart with the assistance of the woman.
This routine was repeated the whole way to the green, where the man’s approach shot left him a virtual tap-in to complete the hole. I mentioned to the other coach that that’s how I’d like to spend my last couple years: in my 90′s, on a golf course, hitting it down the middle, with a young woman to drive me around the course. The coach chuckled and said that that old guy had done things this way, in his own eccentric style, through his whole life. Of course, it was none other than J.W. Gitt.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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One Response to Gitt and his Gazette sported same eccentricities

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