Celebrating a Year of Flying Solo

This is the 52nd consecutive week I have sent out a column. If you’re one of those people who recall that there are 52 weeks in a year, you might’ve whispered a shocked, “Already?” to no one in particular.

Unbeknownst to anyone who isn’t me, I picked this week, a year ago, since it happened to be the week before my 38th birthday. I was determined to start this project while I was still 37 since Erma Bombeck was 37 when she first published her column, and I was determined to take advantage of that particularly obscure bit of numerology.

It probably would’ve been more auspicious if it were the 1960s, and newspapers weren’t dying.

In the dark recesses of my mind, when I paused to consider this ridiculous scheme, there were shadowy figures of people lurking in alleys and doorways laughing their posteriors off at me for even attempting to do this when the content of newspapers has shrunk to the size of a lengthy pamphlet.

I just assumed that was my over active imagination feeding me fear to prevent me from trying anything.

Papers these days are little more than a handful of AP newswire releases which most people have read on the internet days before it appeared in print.

I might’ve been aggressively optimistic about my chances.

To my credit, this was before the Denver Post got rid of pretty much all of their full time beat reporters.  It’s a very small credit, but, when I’m scraping my dignity off the bottom of the barrel, any little bit helps.

Within a few months, I’d more or less abandoned the idea that this was going to turn into a lucrative venture. No newspapers were beating down my door with even a whiff of casual interest, much less, waiting with merry bushels of cash.

While that fantasy faded, I switched tactics, and invited people who were not newspaper editors to join me. That has been a much more successful gambit, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, which, should be allowed to gestate past 8:00 PM on the fourth Thursday of November, I am grateful for each of you. You’re the reason I made it to week 52.

I had wanted to make this column extra special. I’ve been pondering it for so long that when it got here, I no longer had any sense of what to do with it, and the pressure I built around commemorating this event turned into, well, nothing remotely remarkable.

Remarkable or not, I’m celebrating the milestone.  There have been many nights before this one, where the fantasy was just to give up, and I didn’t. Every time that I didn’t just give up is a result of seeing the image of a different crowd of people who were cheering me on, expecting to see an e-mail from me.  I will do my best to avoid disappointing those faces.

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