I am positive you’ve heard it said that there are some things you always remember knowing how to do.
Riding a bicycle comes to mind.
Well, I spent the bulk of my journalism career writing opinion pieces for newspapers in Oregon and Texas. However, like most ink-stained wretches, I got started covering news events, or writing features, chronicling the events that made our community tick.
I am now retired from the daily grind. However, I have been given a chance to return to where it began for me. I am a freelance reporter for a weekly newspaper near where my wife and now reside.
I asked for this gig when we took out a subscription to the Princeton Herald, a weekly publication that is delivered via mail every Thursday. The publisher of the Herald, C&S Media, also publishes papers in other communities nearby. Farmersville is one of them.
The “S” in C&S Media is Sonia Duggan. She asked me recently if I would be interested in covering Farmersville, which is about seven miles east of Princeton. I said yes. So I am back in the game.
I attend Farmersville City Council meetings twice a month, reporting on what transpires at City Hall. I get to write the occasional feature story about Farmersville, a growing community in Collin County, Texas.
The most rewarding part of it, though, is getting to know the people who make the city. I am developing sources, becoming familiar with the community’s unique qualities. I am making my presence known at council meeting.
Man, it’s just like it’s always been.
Moreover, I get to cover these stories straight up, without injecting my own opinion into any of the text I write for the newspaper.
My boss knows, too, that my wife and I might not be available all the time to cover every story that comes along. Given that we’re retired, we have the luxury of traveling in our recreational vehicle, which we do during peak driving season in North Texas. That’s OK, she says, expressing her keen understanding that a freelance gig enables us to operate without too many burdensome requirements.
I just have to say, though, that learning about a new community fills me with great joy and, yes, even a bit of anxiousness. I expect the joy to remain even as I grow less anxious over what I discover about Farmersville.