I first met Gene Price in 2005 at the News-Argus when I became an employee there. Within a few months of my arrival Gene Price was leaving there for good. For the few short months that we were there together, we had said hello to each other on a couple of occasions and talked a little but that was about the extent of any friendship at that time.
Six years later, a few months after I had started up The Buzz Around Wayne County, I received a phone call one day from Gene. “Hello Dan, you may not remember me but this is Gene Price,” said Gene.
How can anyone forget or not know Gene Price in Wayne County? He was a well-known journalist for over 60 years with 50 of those years as Managing Editor and then Editor of the News-Argus. He received many awards over the years including twice receiving The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, once each from 2 separate governors here in North Carolina. An avid sportsman, Gene was also a member of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission having served two terms as chairman.
Anyhow, so I’m thinking to myself, Gene Price, why are you calling me? Did I or one of our writers make a mistake in an article? I quickly asked Gene what could I do for him? He stated that he was calling to see if he could be a contributor in The Buzz. He went on to say that he read The Buzz each month, loved the publication, the good news in it and loved the pictures and other information we gave to our readers. I tried to convince Gene that I was in a newspaper war at the time with his former employer and at 82 years of age he should be doing more fishing and hunting! He kept insisting that he wanted to be part of The Buzz.
So why would I want to turn down one of the most famous journalists in Wayne County ever? I knew he would give The Buzz even more credibility that it already had. Thus he began to contribute monthly articles from his famous Wampus Cat Report and at times other newsworthy opinions. Even at 82 years of age Gene could still write like he was a young seasoned journalist, giving his take on everyday life matters.
As time went on my wife and I became friends with Gene and his wonderful wife of 68 years, Gloria. Heck, we had dinner at their home on a few occasions as I listened to many of Gene’s life stories, (he was a great story teller) and his advice and ideas for The Buzz. If I could only be half the writer Gene Price was! We miss you Gene. You were one of the few true journalists!
Hillery Eugene "Gene" Price, was an honored journalist whose career spanned nearly six decades. He died Wednesday, January 16, 2019. He was 90 years young.