(Below is the introductory article I wrote as editor of the Greenbelt (Maryland) News Review. One of the main goals of this blog is to offer suggestions for, and offer examples of, how a someone could live a literary life. I have listed some ways a person could do that. Here’s another something you could do to live literarily: get involved with journalism. If you live in a place with a small, local paper, look into writing articles. Or maybe find a specialized magazine that publishes articles about something you do like gardening or crafts, history or politics, or whatever else. Becoming the editor of the News Review gets me both writing and editing. It also forces me to try to put myself in our readers’ minds. Is a particular article readable? Too long? Long enough? Does the first sentence or paragraph summarize the rest of the article and invite the reader to read more? I’m enjoying this unique way to add words to my life.)
Here’s My Story: Now Tell Me Yours
My plan for after I retired from Federal service last September was to first spend a few months visiting family and friends, and catching my breath after 36 years in the workforce. After those few months my idea was that I would spend my time editing and publishing the things I’ve written (essays, stories, poems, a novel) over the last few years, writing new things, and spending more time than I’ve ever had before in one of the places I love best, my garden. Imagine my surprise and delight to have been asked to become the new editor of the Greenbelt News Review. Though I am still writing and gardening, I have now joined this fantastic team that produces and publishes our local newspaper, as it has been published and produced every week without a break since November 1937.
The work I have done over my varied career has uniquely prepared me for this exciting role. I have been a youth social worker, Lutheran clergyman, pharmaceutical representative, and a U.S. diplomat (Department of State Foreign Service). In those jobs I communicated using written and spoken word to many different audiences, edited my own and others’ writing, and reported on topics and events that had been assigned to me. I love getting to know about the places I live. As I get to know Greenbelt I am fascinated by its unique background and ongoing contributions to the world and am glad to have become a Greenbelter myself.
Let me share a few personal notes. Family is important to me. I’ve got one married daughter, two married sons, three grandchildren, and a wife of almost four decades. I’ll be attending the University of Maryland’s Master Gardener training this spring. I love reading, music, and hiking. I’m a Robert Burns enthusiast and a member of the P.G Wodehouse Society. I’ve memorized about 50 poems.
I am honored to be the editor of this venerable paper. Here are some of my goals.
First, I am committed to helping continue the 80-year tradition of excellence established by the News Review, a paper for, by, and about Greenbelt.
Second, I intend to help this great paper meet the opportunities and challenges of 2018 and beyond. I will build on our excellent past and help us move into the future.
Third, I want to make sure this paper is the paper for all of Greenbelt, West, Center, and East. I will do my part to make sure that happens.
Fourth, I am going to get out and about town, meeting folks, dropping in on community gatherings and meetings, and participating in events. I look forward to finding ways to connect people to the paper and the paper to people.
One more thing: I like hearing stories about people and their lives. As the new editor I want to hear the tales Greenbelters have to tell. How did folks who live here first find Greenbelt? What did it take to get here? What are the vivid memories of Greenbelt residents who have been here a long time, and the hopes and dreams of folks who have only recently arrived? I have shared a little of my story here: I’m looking forward to hearing yours.