The Daily Illini

A dad: a legend and a legacy

By Ava Traverso, Staff Writer

While my time working at The Daily Illini has been short, I feel as though I have been hearing about it forever. I am a double legacy at The Daily Illini, with my parents meeting there back in the late 1980s.

My mom worked in production and my dad eventually became the sports editor during his time. My parents had been pushing for me to join the newspaper ever since I told them I decided to attend the University.

Working here has been a blessing in more ways than one, with the most notable being how it has helped me become closer with my dad.

When I told my dad I was going to start writing, I remember he could barely contain his excitement over the phone. He took it as an opportunity to teach me everything he knew about news and journalism in general. This helped me immensely due to the fact that I knew almost nothing about journalism coming in. My dad definitely doesn’t take it easy on me with my writing; he’s sometimes my toughest critic.

Offering his honest opinion has really helped me improve over a short time as a writer, which I am, and will continue to be, thankful for.

My dad also often brings up that he won the Raymond Clamage Prize in Journalism in 1988. Hearing my dad talk about his experiences at The Daily Illini makes me incredibly proud to work here and write like he did when he was in college. After working at the newspaper, he went on to become the editor of The Regional News in Palos Heights, Illinois. My dad now owns an Italian restaurant, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Although he loves journalism, owning an Italian restaurant was always something he wanted to do.

Even though he is not in the journalism business anymore, I can tell he still really loves writing and news. He has a daily subscription to The Chicago Tribune, which he reads every morning before he leaves for work. When I was younger, the morning ritual included me bringing the newspaper to him before leaving for school.

Working at The Daily Illini has given me the opportunity to get to know a whole new side of my dad that I never expected to meet. It’s also really helped me understand his appreciation of the written word. It makes me really happy to know I’ve given him the opportunity to revisit that part of his life again.

Whether he’s helping me learn AP style or critiquing my writing, I can tell my dad is really proud I followed his lead to write. It can get stressful at times because he has left big shoes to fill, but I’m sure that his support and guidance will lead me there.

Ava is a sophomore in ACES.

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The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871