Relocating from one metropolitan area(Tampa Bay) to another(Charlotte) in 1988, I immediately subscribed to the local paper as it was and is my preferred news source. Eighteen years later, still in the Charlotte area, I can recall only four instances where I recognized a name printed in the Charlotte Observer of someone I knew on a face-to-face first name basis. (not counting the time a letter written by my wife was printed)
I also receive the 10 to 12 page weekly newspaper from my hometown that arrives courtesy of a subscription which my mother feels the need to send. The first 20 years of my life were spent there but so much more was absorbed and carried with me compared to anywhere else I have chosen to live. Each week in just those few pages I will recognize at least several, sometimes upwards to a dozen, names of people I know personally even though we haven’t spoken in decades. Reading the obituaries from my home town made me realize I’m more likely to know someone over 400 miles away who made the news by dying versus people who are still living close by that I know who might be in the paper.
The Charlotte Observer runs a weekly contest where the local editorial cartoonist provides a drawing about some easily recognizable subject and readers are invited to submit captions. The winner receives the original drawing with their winning caption added as the prize. I would guess thousands of entries are submitted and last week I was included in the runners-up. Curious about any comments I would receive, only one person (a gentleman I met within the last six months who lives nearby) mentioned it in an email about another subject we are engaged in. Otherwise nothing. Not that my ego needs that much stroking (OK, it needs some) but not to receive comments (positive or negative) from the scores (hundreds?) of people who I think know my name after 18 years here is surprising. I guess they watch TV or get their news from the Internet.
P.S. – NC State tax refund arrived yesterday. Regular readers of my journal know the drill. Be there or be square. I’ll be waiting.