Sept. 20 Issue
By Wade Daffron, Columnist“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”(Al Pacino-The Godfather Part III)
I know what you're thinking: "What's HE doing here?"Last November-after being involved some 20 years in community journalism-I just kinda "disappeared."
Yes, I used to own "the other paper," and I sure do appreciate all the support we received.
But as I entered my 40s (hence the not-so-clever name for this column), I became disenchanted.
In the "business," some people call it "burn out," and you know you're in trouble when people can see it in your eyes, read it on your face, and practically smell it when you walk by (At least I think that's what that smell was...).
People would say, "You're burned out, aren't you?"
I would stare blankly, slowly nod, grab flies from the air and eat them-just like Renfield in "Dracula."
Besides that, I was a HORRIBLE business-person. (Just ask the people I still owe money. I would list them all, but I think they want to keep the paper under 20 pages this week.)
I still marvel at how people run small businesses-knowing you need "x" amount of dollars each day/week/month/year, and you only have "y" amount coming in, and there's payroll, utilities, unexpected expenses, etc.
Anyway, after an ill-fated attempt at factory work (I'll admit it-I'm a wuss), and many gray days of unemployment, I was thrilled to be given a job at the Russell County Library.
Since January, I have served as the "Extended Services Librarian," or the "Bookmobile Guy."
No, we no longer have an actual bookmobile-which explains why books fall out of my car every time I open the door.
It's a job I truly enjoy (could do without the high gas prices, though-can I get an "amen" to that?), and I get to work with great people who love the library as much as I do.
OK, OK, but why am I here, you may ask.
Well, for one thing, I am here out of appreciation.
A few months ago, my lovely wife Renee' (yes, honey, I really mean that) was laid off from her job. Ouch. On our kitchen table we had three piles: 1) Bills, 2) Blank job applications, 3) Completed job applications ready to be sent out.
As hard as she tried, Renee' could not find a job anywhere.
The fine folks at The Times Journal learned of her predictament and offered her a job.
Sure, sure, at times (ha-ha, no pun intended), I'm sure I cursed Mr. Davenport, Mr. Wells and even that infernal building on Wilson St. (which still smells like it did 20 years ago) in the name of "competition."
I never liked to view it like-I always preferred "co-exisistence."
When we needed help, they extended a hand. That was just pretty darn cool in my book (library pun).
A few days ago, I was invited to stop by The Times Journal to "discuss something."
Mr. Wells told me Barbara Sharp Zimmerman would no longer be writing her popular "The Way I See It" column.
At first I was devasted because I thought that was one of the best things going.
I know some of you take issue with her, but love it or hate it, you've been reading it, and I think it's grand that she has initiated public discussion and debate.
Truth be known-I kinda agree with her on several things.
While at the newspaper office, I could see pretty quick what was going to be discussed.
I did NOT want to hear the "r-word," and by that I mean "replace."
No one can "replace" Barbara Sharp Zimmerman, and woe be to anyone who dares try.
For you see, she is an "institution," and I BELONG in an institution.
I was basically asked if I wanted the opportunity to write a weekly column.
I stared blankly, slowly nodded, and grabbed some flies from the air.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little "spark."
I guess I do miss getting to chat with y'all (Kentucky term), and share thoughts and observations of what's going on in our towns, community and the big ol' world out there.
And my ears still perk up when I hear a siren in the distance, or the ominous tones on a police scanner.
I relish the chance to be able to write and not have to worry about things like, "Why aren't the lights on? Oh, didn't pay the electric bill." "The printing bill was HOW much this week?" Or, "What do you mean nobody in Windsor got their paper this week?"
If you would give me a chance to work out the rust, and get these ol' fingers tap-dancing across the keyboard, I'd sure like to be friends again.