Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm An Addict, And My Name Is Herb

I'm an addict. Not to drugs or alcohol, but to writing. Like all addictions, it started innocently. I just started opining on my blog. Soon, I had delusions that I could make a difference. Be a communicator. While I still maintain my blog, I mostly do it because of the cutbacks at the Spokesman-review. Also I do it because so many snow birds tell me it's their link to the community during the winter.

I believe it was the spring of 2007 when I heard the clarion call of "journalism." The first issue of the Prairie Voice had hit the stands with neighborhood news.A bunch of amateurs and a few professionals were putting out a section dealing with everyone. I called the editor in charge, Tad Books. I sez, where is the news of Bayview and of Athol? He sez, I don't think we even circulate this edition to those places. I sez, yes you do, I got one in my paper this morning. Then he sez, we don't have anyone up there to write for us. Hah! fightin' words if I ever heard them.

I politely explained that perhaps I could fill that role. He sez, send me a sample column. Well, I sat there, staring out over Scenic Bay, when my fingers started walking.I told of the green kicker boat waddling across the bay, towing a behemoth behind, as MacDonald's Resort went through the seasonal dance of winterizing/un-winterizing the power boats that line the bay, or at least used to.

Armed with my three years of high school journalism, I boldly struck out to finally, after 48 years write for pay. It has been a blast. More recently though, I've been cut back to two columns per month when in the summer of 2007 I wrote an average of six and sometimes more columns/stories. In all of that time, I never had a story turned away. The more the merrier, Tad Sez.

Tad is gone now ... to where I don't know. I just know that he was a great guy to work with, always criticized with learning as the goal and made me a better writer, as well as a better person. I'm not particularly enthused as I once was, since I can write three stories and maybe, just maybe get one printed, but usually without pictures. You see, pictures they have to pay for as well as the stories themselves. Many stories that now appear in the Voices, are not even of Idaho. It is cheaper to reprint a story from Spokane valley or any other human interest story than to pay me and those like me for original stuff.

My Mom has been gone for many years. She was my inspiration in many ways. She also wrote a neighborhood column for the weekly, Renton News Record. I guess like buggy whip manufacturers, I'll fade back into the woodwork. It was a short, but great run.

I am teetering on the edge of quitting this relationship. I cannot any longer write with the enthusiasm I once did. I suppose that those who are college educated and hold degrees in journalism can do it. I can't. I still have the relationship with the river Journal, but that is just once a month. Who knows, maybe next season you'll see me at Silverwood again.

1 comment:

Bay Views said...

There was a kindly commenter that suggested that I never give up something I love to do. those remarks were appreciated. somehow, in the moderating function, her comment was lost, not rejected.

Most do not realize that my editors live in what is essentially an ivory tower. I don't mean that as critical, it's just that usually, the only contacts they have with readers is when the reader is pissed off at the writer.They do not get feedback as to the columns being appreciated, and I have hesitated to pimp my own column. BUT, if you miss the usual stuff that I used to write, the only way you are going to get it back is if you convince Jim Allen, my editor, that you are not happy with the cutbacks. When they send a paper out, sometimes they judge acceptance by the poulation of the areas served. Certainly Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls serve as the heavy population center of our areas. What they don't know, is that you are out there, enjoy and miss this feature. For your convenience, I will give you the opportunity to do just that.

Jim Allen: 1-800-789-0029, ext 2168 or

I am not asking you to do this, but I certainly feel you should have the opportunity if you wish to support this endeavor.