Remembering Joseph Dyer

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 8, 2011

From the time we met Joe Dyer until he left Bogalusa it seemed like we knew a famous person. In high school Joe was a drama star, a great orator and a leader of several organizations. It was awesome knowing someone famous and exciting to be such close friends of his family.

Although we were quite young when Joe left Bogalusa we were always informed of his location and accomplishments. We knew when he finished college, entered the military, got married and moved to Los Angeles. We were also informed that he was hired by CBS as a reporter.

When Joe became an executive at KCBS-TV, and a writer and news producer for KNXT-TV and one of the few African-American reporters to cover the Watts riots, we really wanted to claim kin to him. Nevertheless, we were filled with pride just being close friends.

In 1990 Joe was invited to be a guest speaker for the John W.B. Smith Family Reunion in Los Angeles. We were thrilled to have the whole family to meet our famous Bogalusa favorite son. He was dynamic! The family was wowed by the information he shared and the challenges that he presented to us. He educated a lot of us about a lot of things. He had a profound effect on our family and many others whose lives he touched.

In 2003 the mayor (Mack McGehee) declared Joseph Dyer Day in Bogalusa. We were all there to meet and celebrate our famous friend and family. The highlight of the day was a program where Joe told us about his first book, “From the Cotton Fields to CBS,” and announced that it was available for purchase and signing at a reception following the program. We all have the book to remind us of Joe’s life from his early beginning in Bogalusa to his success in Los Angeles.

Joe left us a lasting legacy to be passed on to future generations.

Ella Jewel Chapital and Isabelle Smith