An Old News Man (December 09, 2021)

If there was ever a time I felt ready for something, today is not that day. And this is NOT that moment… NOT that day.

Waiting in the lobby of a smalltown newspaper was, at best, both maddening & grueling. I have confessed in these posts that my patience is something I need to work on. And sometimes a lack of patience CAN be a good thing. A healthy dose of death to remind you you are alive, that you are temporary is very humbling.

Mentally messaging away anxiety would not hurt, either.

What am I doing here?

I am a hack. And a ghoulish one, at that. Feeding off the lives of other, more REAL writers than myself. This – a small-town community newspaper – for extreme nerds. Professionals! People that know what they are doing. Or, worse, feel like they know what they are doing.

My anxiety grew by the second. The sweat making my shirt wet. The dampness of my palms making the partially full file-folder of clippings & resume & articles stained a yellowish-brown sweat-stain…

There are Professionals in this building.

And, like I said, I’m a ghoul.

A Hack!

Finally, my name was called. I was led to the back of an old brick building. An old man leading the way. Mr. Sharp. Lee Sharp. He had been working for the paper for years.

Jesus!

This was real… & Mr. Sharp was VERY real. Recently widowed. His father worked for the Newspaper. And his father before that. Going all the way back to the 1920s.

In 1921, The Mountain Scout became The Taylorsville Times. 100 years of community news! And I ended up in the paper’s offices the week their 100 Year Special Edition was hot off the press.

And that’s another thing I got from my little visit with Mr. Sharp: a tour of a geniune NEWSPAPER! A commodity that is slowly becoming more of a historical novelty than an essential part of an American Morning. And as twisted as pig’s tail as that may sound, it’s true.

I think Mr. Sharp know that is the inevitable truth, as well. That is not something he said to me, outright It was in the way he took me aroiund the Newspaper building, showing me the printing equpment, explaining to me his familial connection to the Local rag.

He wanted to show me that operation. And he did it with the kind of care & charisma of a tour guide, leading a solitary audience into the history of Local Journalism.

Today: I did NOT get a great & glorious dream job writing editorial of municipal corruption. But I got to meet Mr. Sharp, an owner of the local paper.

Taylorsville, North Carolina is fast becoming my home. Being a part of the community is important to me. (That is one of the reasons why I wanted a gig at the local paper.) However, being a hermit has become so much a part of being human to me, maybe JUST meeting Mr. Sharp was all I was meant to do today.

Maybe that is all I am ready for, at this time.

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