“You kids know how when the Family Circus guy needs a break, ‘Billy’ draws his cartoon? We should do that,” I offered them over dinner. I needed a solid argument. Summer had been busy, far busier than I ever imagined. I was bone tired and weary but dug deep for something to convince them.
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I’m in my 30th year of journalism, which, roughly speaking, is way too long. But I have produced more than 8,000 stories, 7,253 of which had to include the subject’s age or the year they graduated high school, sometimes both. A tenet of community newspapers is to keep things local, and nothing’s more local than knowing what year someone you’re writing about graduated from a school the reader also probably attended.
Americans are celebrating the nation’s independence from Great Britain 238 years ago this weekend with fireworks, beer, barbecues, baseball and family reunions. But for some, July 4 is a solemn day to reflect on what it means to be free and who paid the price for our freedom.
It’s been 45 years since cartoonist Scott Quick stayed in his grandparents’ apartment in Camden, but something about the town and his experience there kept him telling stories through characters he’d based on people he met or heard about from family.
Before kids appeared to me in the wailing, yet sweet-smelling flesh, I thought I knew it all. While I was very apprehensive about the firsts of that first baby, I felt armed with enough knowledge to face them. How many firsts could there possibly be?