It is obvious why the Sacramento News and Review would write the story of John Tennis. The Dec. 14 feature story almost wrote itself.
Tennis was a local high school athlete who joined the military to travel around the world in an Army paratrooper unit. After serving his country, Tennis returned to serve his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., for three decades as a police officer. He embodied the American spirit of multiculturalism by marrying a black woman and raising four interracial children. It was a heartwarming tale of heroism, service and duty. The piece even featured a picture of Tennis proudly wearing a T-shirt with the Superman logo emblazoned across it.
Even the tragic parts of the beautiful profile induced a case of the warm-and-fuzzies. He carried a picture of his children in his wallet to motivate himself, even after his marriage fell apart. He became disillusioned with his career but still served dutifully. The profile left the reader with a sympathetic view of how John Tennis managed to overcome adversity and was still standing. Tennis did, after all, open his heart and pour out the agonizing details of his life. He should get credit for that. It made him more likable. It endeared him to the reader.