Five years ago, this week, I happened to be in the Medina Journal-Register newspaper office. Back then I was doing a second-rate cartoon strip — as an advertisement for Curvin’s Newsstand — and I’d stopped in to drop it off. While I was there, I ran into the newspaper’s editor, Mike Reagan. (Mike has since left the job.)
Mike, whom I’d never met, asked me if I was there to submit a column. “No,” I told him, surprised, I was there “to give something to Cindy.” (Cindy was — and still is — in charge of the advertising department. Sweet gal, but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Reagan’s question surprised me because he didn’t have a clue as to who I was — I thought maybe he’d mistaken me for someone else. But his follow-up question caught me even more off guard: “Do you want to (submit a column)?”
“I’m not a writer,” I laughed.
“Want to give it a try?”
Weird, wild stuff, huh? Nonetheless, that’s the genesis of this weekly column. I’m sure my lack of training has been obvious to most readers. And, honestly, that’s why I didn’t expect to win the Pulitzer Prize for at least a couple of weeks. Not until after the first few articles went to press and the few days it would take to learn absolutely everything there was to know about the business. But even after then, the award never came. And, frankly, I’m tired of waiting.
Little did I realize that even something as prestigious as the Pulitzer Prize organization could get mired and caught up in the game of dirty politics. But they must have. How else can you explain their overt indifference to “From the Valley?”