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The Lookout | September 24, 2018

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Current Lookout adviser Larry Hook is former sports editor of newspaper

Current Lookout adviser Larry Hook is former sports editor of newspaper

Jeremy Kohn
Editor in Chief

The old saying what goes around comes around rings true for LCC alumnus Larry Hook, who started his journalism career at The Lookout and now oversees the paper as its current adviser.

The 54-year-old realized he wanted to be a journalist while attending high school at Lansing Catholic Central.

“All through my life I wanted to be a professional baseball player and play for the Detroit Tigers,” Hook said. “When I got cut from the baseball team in high school I realized that wasn’t going to happen, so the next best thing was to write about sports.”

Hook took his first journalism class as a senior in high school, where he wrote movie reviews.

After high school, Hook attended Lansing Community College. While working at TV Tom’s in Lansing delivering televisions, Hook learned about an opening for a sports writer position at The Lookout.

The aspiring journalist joined the staff and immediately earned a promotion.

“I came in for one issue as a sports writer, and then the sports editor quit the very next issue and I took his job,” Hook said.

He held the position of sports editor at The Lookout for two years, starting in November of 1980.

“He was talented sports writer; diligent, thorough and dependable,” said Marilyn Hobrla, who was editor in chief of The Lookout in 1980 and 1981. “We had fun working hard on the newspaper together … long hours and lots of pizza and caffeine as we pursued our journalistic endeavors.”

Hook spoke about one his favorite stories he wrote while at the college newspaper.

“The Pac-Man craze column that I wrote is a story that kind of stands the test of time,” Hook said. “You can read it and still appreciate it today – it talked about how videos games can be so addictive.”

Hook, a pinball and video game enthusiast at the time, spent hours between classes sipping on soda and chasing ghosts at Corky’s Restaurant, which is where Gibson’s Bookstore is located today.

The “Great Gumball Caper” was a controversial story that happened while Hook was on staff.  He said the administration tried to deny The Lookout staff from having a gumball machine in the newspaper office. In response, the staff chained the gumball machine to a file cabinet as a symbol of student rights.

While on staff at The Lookout, Hook met Carolyn Hobrla, the twin sister of Editor Marilyn Hobrla. Carolyn was the staff cartoonist and graphic designer for The Lookout. Hook started dating Carolyn in the summer of 1981 and the couple were married in 1986.

The Hooks will celebrate 29 years of marriage this August. They have three children: Nolan, 21; Brendan, 18; and Danielle, 16. Nolan is a current LCC student. The other two will likely attend LCC in the near future.

After LCC, Hook continued his college at Michigan State University, where he majored in journalism and earned his bachelor’s degree.

At MSU, Hook encounter a professor that taught him a valuable lesson.

“Cynthia Kyle was so tough; I had her at MSU,” Hook said. “She was the one that taught me about fatal errors — if you made a mistake on a proper noun the best you could get on an assignment was a ‘D.’”

After his time at MSU, Hook took a job as editor in chief of the Leslie Local, a job he held for 12 years.

Following his job at Leslie Local, he worked as an editor at Lansing Community Newspapers. At one point, he was managing editor, overseeing 13 newspapers simultaneously.

After leaving Lansing Community Newspapers, an opening for adviser of The Lookout became available.

“I was amazed; the timing was so right,” Hook said. “It was like a homecoming — so much had changed, but some of the things were the same —I went back to the same office in the same building where I had worked as a student.

Hook started his job as The Lookout adviser in the summer of 2004, a job he has maintained for 11 years.

He said seeing former students succeed in journalism careers after working at The Lookout is what makes him feel best about his job.

“I like seeing people like Michael Caterina, Rachel Harper and Zane McMillin go out into the real world and be awesome,” Hook said.  “This is training ground. If you can get it right here, then you can get it right in the real world.”

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