fred wants me to introduce myself so here goes.
mini bio: baby boomer. grew up in jersey, outside philly. went to college (in chicago) on an academic scholarship. did one year abroad (canada.) graduated magna cum laude (english literature and history.)
few years after college started freelancing as a general assignment feature reporter for a gannett paper (120,000 daily circulation back then) in jersey. (was lucky to get into a newsroom just before the post-watergate flood of newbies came out of the j-schools.) then moved on to the philadelphia bulletin, a philly institution, when the death rattle was almost audible in the newsroom. cranked out hard news stories and features.
after the bulletin folded, i wrote for the philadelphia daily news ’til 1988 — a privilege as the legendary gil spencer was the executive editor. that guy was one in a million, tough as shoe leather when he had to be and a sweetie pie when he didn’t. everybody in the newsroom knew gil had your back, even when you screwed up. especially when you screwed up.
it was clear by the mid-1990s there no future in newspapering so i reinvented myself and went to work for a big charity in philly as press contact and grant writer. (don’t get me started on what a mess nonprofits are.) pushed out in 2008 at the very beginning of the recession. retired since 2011.
on the personal level, i am:
a radio addict since junior high school (under the covers at night with a transistor radio — the whole bit)
very private and a homebody
a middling but enthusiastic herb gardener (culinary and medicinals)
still grieving the cancellation of “hill street blues,” the best hour-long drama ever on network tv
a christian (came in kicking and screaming at age 40, after reading mere christianity by c.s. lewis.) non-evangelical, non-charismatic
a conservative (since RR’s first term)
user of complementary medicine since the 1980s: homeopathy (including constitutional treatment); european and asian herbs; traditional chinese medicine (TCM), which incorporates acupuncture, cupping and qigong; therapeutic massage, especially shiatsu
prone to having heroes who fight the good fight — paul of tarsus, dietrich bonhoeffer, richard wurmbrand, aleksandr solzhenitsyn — and bear the cost with stoic resolve
you all come to this blog for the same reasons i first did nine years ago: fred’s original and tenacious research; his brilliant and dead-on analysis of news events; his gentlemanly “c’mon, let’s just talk” approach to almost all feedback; and the polls that would make you laugh even while in the ER getting a broken arm set. but, ok, i’ll put my two cents in once in a while, especially on the lively topic of serious journalism in america and why it’s (almost) dead as a door nail.