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The Callithumpian Committee has announced that the grand marshall for the 2011 Callithumpian Parade will be Eric Mann, a longtime reporter and photographer at the Decatur Daily Democrat who is retiring this year.
Mann, who will turn 62 five days before the October 31 parade, will step down on December 31.
The parade will start at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 31, the final event of the annual Callithumpian celebration.
Mann said, "I find it difficult to believe I meet the qualifications to be the Callithumpian grand marshall, but I'm extremely proud and pleased to have been given this great honor.
"A lot of very important local people have been grand marshalls before me, and many more will follow, so I'm in exceptional company. I just hope I don't water down the talent pool too much."
Mann joined the Daily Democrat staff in January of 1971 and has been a reporter and photographer for almost 41 years. His newspaper career began when he worked for his parents, Wade and Ellen Mann, at their newspaper and job printing operation in Scottsburg, Indiana, from the late 1950s until the couple sold the business and retired in 1969. The Scottsburg offset printing plant in 1960 was the first of its kind in the state, starting five years before the Daily Democrat turned to offset printing in 1965.
Mann graduated from Webb School, a boys' prep school in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, in 1968, then had two years of college: at Hanover College and at the Indiana University regional campus in Jeffersonville. He said, "I gave up formal education because of all the note-taking required, then spent the last 41 years taking notes as a reporter."
Mann is also a longtime worker in Habitat for Humanity of Adams County, having had a hand in helping build all 16 houses in the county since the organization was founded in the mid-1990s. He donated a car in 2010 the local Habitat group, which raffled it off and raised $4,500.
He may join the Habitat for Humanity board in 2012 and is a member of the Friends of the Library at the Decatur branch of the Adams Public Library System.
He is further known for efforts to rid the local landscape of litter and is a regular donor of aluminum cans to Golden Meadows Home, which the home recycles to help its residents buy medicine.
Mann's mother lives in Woodcrest Retirement Community. His father died here in April of 2010.