The guy who hired me to work at U.S. 1 Newspaper in 1987, Richard K. Rein, has just published a column, a mini memoir, recalling his 50 years in journalism, starting with a summer job as a high school intern.
My BFF, Sharon Schlegel, said goodbye to her column today in the Trenton Times because she is moving to St. Augustine. I won’t reveal her age but I’m betting she can count at least to 50 years in the business if she starts with her own newspaper, as a kid, and counts her stint as the first woman reporter on the U of Penn newspaper.
Both talk about what journalists call their “voice.” Rein says he turned down a theoretically more prestigious job in order to “find a writing style of my own.” Schlegel says that developing a voice of her own was “an evolving process, an opportunity to explore myself as well as my subjects.”
My style is not as distinctive as hers, but I’m trying to preserve what I do have by continuing with this blog. Use it or lose it applies to wordsmithing as well as to exercising.
I also resonate with a point that Rein makes. He says, “If I see a story (and somehow I see stories in the strangest places) I need to tell that story. I can’t help it. If I edit a story, I want to make it better. Can’t help it.”
Me too. I can’t help it. Hence this blog.
Schlegel’s readers will miss her voice. I’ll miss it in newsprint, but I’ll get to hear it on email — and in person. We plan to Skype a lot, and Florida is just a plane flight away. Perhaps I can persuade her to be a “guest columnist” for Princeton Comment from time to time, or maybe she will write for a Florida paper. I’m betting she’ll have stories to tell.