It says a lot about someone when the colleagues and counterparts take time to pay their respects. So it is with Mike Manhatton.
As I said in a text to a friend of mine who works at WTOC, Mike was a pro’s pro. For more than 30 years, in places far removed from Savannah, Mike did his job and did it well. The Herald news staff, all two of us, knew Mike — Paul knew him better than I did — and respected his work. We respected that he never backed down from an assignment and knew when it was time to be serious and when he could have some fun on the air.
Mike had literally been around the globe to cover stories. Sometimes, we watch the local news broadcasts and can tell who is trying to angle themselves for a better job or a bigger market. Mike appeared to love being right where he was in Savannah and acquitted himself to tell the stories in the best possible manner.
Many, many years ago, I sat next to Dawn Baker in Mrs. Wilson’s fifth-grade class. She moved to Savannah not long after that. She’s had Mike sitting next to her at 11 p.m. every night for more than two decades. I have to figure it’s tough on her to look at the chair next to her and think Mike won’t be there anymore.
Our hearts go out to the Manhatton family. Mariella has been wonderful to work with and no words we can come up with can ease her pain. But perhaps it will help that so many others cherish their memories of him as well.