Oxnard– I hope everyone is off to a great 2023 and all those New Year’s resolutions are still in place.
THIS all started when I was a little boy when my father would come home, and the whole house would hear him rustle the paper, shuffle into his dad chair, and let out a big sigh. He was home.
My mother would prepare dinner, and when we all sat down to eat, they would discuss the Vietnam War and how Nixon was doing. I would read the sports page because I was a big Mets, Knicks, and New York Rangers fan. I had to fold the paper carefully, however, so when my father got home, the paper looked good as new.
My father brought me to a local paper when I got older, and as I’ve said before, my first job was as a paperboy.
That went along nicely, although I spent too much time at the ice cream parlor on my route. I got a flyer from the distribution manager announcing a contest with a prize of new sneakers if I got eight new subscriptions. I wanted those sneakers.
I got a bunch of new subscriptions and thought my father would be happy to subscribe. I was wrong; he threw my paper at me and noted that the paper I delivered didn’t match his beliefs. My mother seconded that motion.
I was curious, so I ventured past the sports page and read the news that set him off, sparked debate at the dinner table when my father was home early enough and found the editorials that made him laugh and swear.
As a young boy, I was learning how to assemble an editorial budget directly from my parents. It meant a lot to me and is probably why I was never happy as a restaurant manager. I wasn’t using my College degree.
I went back to College and relearned my trade at age 49 and started in radio news, but before I applied anywhere, I brought my audition CD to my father. He listened, got mad about some stories, and spent some time laughing and swearing at me. I sent the CD out the next day, and a week later, I got the job, and he said I would do well because I told the truth and didn’t care what anybody thought of me.
Fast forward 15 years, and it still bothers me when there are no community stories to cover. I like hard news with stories that celebrate life in Ventura County.
Fortunately, I found a group of little stories at the Wilson Senior Center.
Upon arrival, I found a great group having fun playing Dominoes while another group was participating in chair aerobics.
The Dominoes gang taught me how to play and win, and the chair aerobics gang worked on fitness.
Anthony, the Center’s Wii bowling master, was waiting in the wings, ready to practice, while others were happy when I bought them the paper to read. Though it all, the lunch ladies were busy making a nutritious meal for the group.
The truth is there are great stories everywhere; I just needed to look. I’m glad I did. This is a true community that loves where they gather.
Have a great week, everyone, and God bless our Military and First Responders.
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