This is the first of my new column, “Thoughts and Reflections.” It is a bit of a departure from my usual style of writing an autobiographical story line. Rather, it will be a kind “in the moment” kind of column. Not to be political, but rather just a series of observations, feelings, and thoughts of what seems to have become a rapidly changing society.
I love the format of the small town and regional newspapers. There is something to be said for small town newspapers. They concentrate on a very specific town or region. Very often the small-town paper publishes the story that probably would have been passed by, by the big daily newspaper. Hence, the beauty and splendor of the small-town newspaper.
I wrote my first newspaper article for the old Lincoln Park Herald when I was 12 years old. It was a story about Boy Scout Troop 170 winning First Place at the big district fall camporee. The funny thing about it is that I did not even attend this particular campout! It was back in October of 1966 and I was in the Barnert Hospital in Paterson, fighting off a severe case of Rheumatic Fever.
While visiting me at the hospital, that Sunday evening after the camporee, Dad told me all about the camporee. The next morning I wrote an article about the camporee, based upon what Dad had told me about it. Mom typed it up for me and hand delivered to Mr. Marino, the Editor-in-Chief of the Lincoln Park Herald. To my happy surprise, Mr. Marino published my article, word for word as I had written it. From that moment on, I fell in love with the concept of the small-town newspaper.
In 1987, I left the hustle and bustle of writing for a big daily newspaper, in order to begin publishing the old Lincoln Park Journal. I confess that I modeled the LPJ after the old Lincoln Park Herald, in honor of my old Editor, Mr. Marino. I never fully stated that in any of my editorials. Something that to this day, I deeply regret. But, I think people instinctively knew that LPJ was modeled after LPH.
Just to take a quick detour off of my main train of thoughts here, I would most sincerely encourage folks to support the advertisers of this newspaper. I’m not sure if you will be reading this column in the hard copy edition that was mailed to you or if you’re reading it on the modern-day Internet format. Either way, please do support the local advertisers. They are the backbone of the small-town, regional newspaper.
I think that each and every one of us, find our unique and specific calling in life. For me, I truly believe that the Divine One placed the calling to be a writer deep into the inner most chambers of my heart. And, very specifically, to write for small-town newspapers.
I’ve probably had well over a thousand articles published in my life so far. For me, it is purely a labor of love. Through it all, if I have touched the heart of just one single individual, through my writings, I feel as though I have accomplished something worthwhile with my life.
To all my friends out there, and I do think of the people who read my columns as my friends, please be true to your inner most calling. Do not allow anyone or anything to derail you in your own train ride to fulfill your specific Divine purpose of this lifetime. Hold dearly your love for your Divine calling. Cherish your unique qualities and talents. Dearly hold to the truth that there is no other person, on this entire planet, quite like you. Always be true to your God-given talents.
Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.