Unlike during the winter when you have to work kind of hard to find something to write about, there is no end to the summer cultural and social and news events. For me, the hope always has been to do something that no one else really is doing, or at least to do it differently. I got plenty of chances for that in July.
Among my favorite stories was the one about Dylan Booth, a high schooler who is fast becoming one of the most talented competitive barbecue cooks in the region. I remember I had to fight with one of the copy editors to get “ran the table” left in the story. Again, it’s a sign of my lack of professionalism that l rely on colloquialisms, but they’re fun and I deploy them well (I like to think).
<rant>People who read, read; which is something too few people in the newspaper business understand. Bryan Russo (no relation) has a great longform series he does for one of the local papers, but generally they want the words monosyllabic and in the 8th grader reading range. To be fair, I write a lot of stories like that. There’s nothing wrong with it. That said, I’d much rather cultivate a narrow, engaged audience than just people who don’t have the bandwidth to watch videos.</rant>
The boys of summer
I live in Delmar and the only thing we like better than men’s softball is litter. When I bought my home, I thought it would be cool to live so near the park and the ballfields. This was before I discovered that it included grown men peeing in public after drinking so much cheap beer they had to be poured into a less-drunk
friend’s car. Usually, they leave their beer cans for the town parks department to pick up, which is why I thought this was so interesting a picture.
As I imagine it, this upstanding citizen either drank his six-pack in the car and fell out of it, or someone picked up all the beers he left behind and dumped them into the car with the rest of the garbage. I say “he” but it is just as likely a women. I can’t imagine a full grown man who got this loaded on six Coors Lights. Of course, I can’t imagine a grown man doing most of the things the grown men of Delmar do, so there’s that…
A farewell to armaments
Unless I fall upon hard times, the last political rally I covered was when (now mayor of Salisbury) Jake Day announced his candidacy. As it turned out, he would run unopposed and many of the attendees had a sense of that already. Day is a popular figure on the Salisbury scene and was able to do a lot as city council president. He is the second young man to hold that position since I moved here in the 1990s. Mostly it was a thing that older people did, but Jim Ireton was a successful younger mayor and Day is in that mold. Although he does do a lot less yelling than his predecessor.
He also seemed to thoroughly enjoy his work. He likes helping people and getting out and about. I think Salisbury might be beyond repair, but Jake doesn’t. That’s probably why he was able to run unopposed. I didn’t run for all sorts of reasons including that I don’t live in Salisbury, am bored by politics and have a generally offensive approach to public service. I will not miss covering politics, and no one will miss my quasi-cynical, quaisi-know-nothing approach to the subject.
As we press on toward August, I still hadn’t even been in the ocean. That totally needed fixing.