It was in 1997 and I was reading the local paper, the Landmark. It was August, and the publication had recently changed hands and was becoming the local paper to read, for me at least.
I had written for another local paper previously and left for various reasons, but I wanted to get back to writing. I called the new editor of the paper, a young lady named Randi, and inquired if she was interested in a column with a local slant.
We talked for a bit about my previous experience, and she asked me to send a sample column. I did and it appeared in the paper on Sept. 11, 1997. The title was “A salute to North Riverside’s music lady.” That lady is Pat Poremba, a familiar face who is still a part of the local community theater troupe, the North Riverside Players.
Evidently, the editor was pleased and asked me if I could do a column every week. I said, “Of course I could” — and I can, apparently, because I am still doing it and enjoying it just as much 18 years later.
I have often been asked if I was a journalism major. The answer to that is no. I was a speech and drama major who wound up teaching in the Chicago Catholic school system, which gave me a chance to “perform” and “speak” in front of a class full of eager learners.
As a student myself I did like essay questions and writing essays. I also wrote for a college periodical, mostly poetry full of angst.
Writing the column has introduced me to many interesting people and places, and many times I feel as if I am writing a term paper, doing research and stuff, only I don’t have to thumb through a heavy Funk and Wagnall’s (for you kids, that was an encyclopedia).
I have the advantage of sitting at the computer in my jammies if I want and don’t worry about makeup. It’s a far cry from when I was with the “other” paper and sat at the typewriter, hoping the ribbon didn’t wear out and that I had enough white-out.
Well, I like what I do and I hope you enjoy it also. If you ever have a suggestion for a column just let me know; just email to email@example.com.