Monday, September 29, 2008


My first writing job was putting together a weekly Happenings Column in the late 1970s for The Community Times, a mid-size county newspaper. Happenings, for the uninformed are neighborhood events such as, car washes, PTA meetings, bake sales, first birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and out-of-town guest. The pay was meager, definitely sub-minimum wage, but the benefits for an inexperienced beginner were tremendous. I quickly learned how to gather the necessary news to fill my column, I also learned to write tight, and meet a deadline (I stuffed my typed copy into the mailbox of a fellow reporter every Sunday evening - we never met) and act like a professional. I worked every day and once a week I was rewarded with seeing my words, my picture, and my work in print. Until that Thursday afternoon when I eagerly snatched the folded paper from my front yard and read: "Last Edition." The paper folded, I was out of work (no one told me), but it was too late, I was hooked.

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