Hook loves newspaper job, family life - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Hook loves newspaper job, family life

Larry Hook

The Lookout Adviser Larry Hook, surrounded by his collection of bobblehead sports figures, sits at his desk in room 1330 of the Gannon Building on LCC's main campus.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

A term that should be more widely known is “news people.” These are not those who consume the news, but those who bring it to the public. They are honest, objective and creative people who save the world, one published revelation at a time.

The Lookout Adviser Lawrence Ola Hook Jr., 63, is a news person through and through. Known to friends as Larry, he said he chose this profession because he will always care about keeping the narrative as accurate as possible.

“Our newspaper tells the truth,” Hook said. “We get the facts straight.”

Hook decided to be a journalist as a senior in high school after discovering his knack for writing, but spent his childhood dreaming of being a Major League Baseball player.

“I loved playing baseball,” he said. “I am a huge Detroit Tigers fan. I am competitive, I like to win.”

He didn’t end up in the Major Leagues, but he did graduate high school, go to college, marry the girl of his dreams and have three children he absolutely adores, so some would say it still worked out.

Hook describes himself as more like his mother, Joyce, then his father, Lawrence Hook Sr. His father was a surly TV repairman, while his mother was an open-minded homemaker.

“She was kind,” he said, sounding appreciative. “My mom loved everybody. She was very involved in community stuff and liked people. I like people, too.

“She was the treasurer for what was called the ‘North Lansing Community Association,’ which is now (Lansing’s) Old Town. She volunteered her time for 10 or 11 years helping to make Old Town what it is today; a safe and welcoming community.”

He admitted that growing up wasn’t easy because, not only was he teased for being different and a bit of a rule-follower, but he also faced a lot of unsafe situations because of the part of town his family lived in: Old Town. His parents owned and often monitored a police scanner to listen for any approaching dangers.

“That part of town used to be the worst,” he said. “There were knife and gun fights every night.”

But high school had to end sometime and, in the fall of 1979, LCC accepted Hook. He started by taking a beginning writing and a psychology course; he also started working at The Lookout as a student.

“Students could smoke in class,” he chuckled. “There were a lot of people here. Campus was thriving and always busy. I met my wife at The Lookout. We used to have to build the newspaper by hand and we had to outline the pictures with one-point tape. It was monotonous and I hated it but, one day, Carolyn said, ‘I’ll do that for ya,’ and so she started boxing my pictures and that’s how I got to know her.

“After five years, we were married and then we waited another six years before having our first child, so, we had a lot of fun time as youngsters. We were growing up together.”

Hook finished his time at LCC and then went on to Michigan State University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in journalism. Since then, he has done a little bit of everything, from being editor of a small-town newspaper in Leslie to covering the Lansing Lugnuts as a reporter for MLive.

“I worked as a journalist for most of my career,” he said. “Since 2016, I have only worked here (at LCC), but before that, I was working two, three, and even sometimes four jobs at a time, freelancing.”

The world of writing would keep him busy forever if he let it, but he said it was always easy to put down the pen for his family. He and his wife had their fun, but Hook is now a father to three; Nolan, 30, Brendan, 27, and Danielle, 25.

“I never suffered from depression because I have kids,” Hook said. “They give me hope and something to look forward to all the time. I was always excited for their futures and I am so happy with what each of them are doing now. They are good kids. They have all done very well and their mother and I are very proud of them.”

His wife of nearly 38 years, Carolyn Hook, said her husband is pretty much editing something all the time, but she couldn’t imagine spending her life with anyone else.

“He even edits my Sunday bulletins in my church newsletter,” she said. “Marrying him is the best choice I ever made. Everything I have, I have because of him. Being a part of this family is the best part of my life.”

Hook’s favorite movie (“Arthur”), his favorite song (“Arthur’s Theme” by Christopher Cross) and his favorite year (1981) all center around the love of his life, his wife, Carolyn. Their love story continues to be the centerpiece of his life.

He said his second love is his job, of over 20 years, as adviser of The Lookout.

“June 27 was my 21st anniversary as adviser, and I worked here as a student, so you can throw another two and a half years on there,” he said.

Former Editor in Chief Julie Newell said that working at The Lookout was hard but well worth it. She is now based in South Haven, both studying and working in the field of digital marketing, but sometimes her mind wanders to the time she spent at The Lookout.  

“I learned a lot, Larry taught me a lot,” Newell said. “He was always very entertaining to work with. He always let us express our creative freedom and respected the ideas that we would bring to him.”

Hook’s special talent is being able to name every U.S president in less than 15 seconds. He collects baseball cards, albums, DVDs, pinball machines and antique toys amongst many other things, but he simply considers it a symptom of being an only child.

He likes making lists of stuff and organizes things, but mostly he likes passing on what he has learned over the years. However, he said if he could tell something to every young journalist it would be:

“Know the rules of journalism,” he said. “Get your facts straight and don’t misspell proper nouns!”



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