Friday, January 30, 2009

Sad Day--The Citizen Has Closed

During the summer of 1994, I walked into the office of The Charlevoix County Press, Boyne City's local newspaper. (Boyne City is my hometown in northern Michigan.) I was responding to a help wanted ad for a sports writer--but I was only a high school freshman. I liked sports and liked to I needed a job. Why not go for it?

Hugh Conklin, editor at that time, took a risk and hired me. I started by covering golf and tennis, and some of the freshman and JV teams. By my sophomore year, I landed my first front page article while covering varsity boys basketball, the second biggest sports team in town (after football).

By the end of my senior year I had worked for the paper (by then called the Citizen-Journal) for four years and the following summer, Hugh gave me a huge responsibility in a smaller weekly paper owned by the Citizen-Journal, the Walloon Lake Villager. I took pictures, reported and wrote the stories, handled much of the physical layout, and even helped with bulk mailing. The newspaper business became a part of my identity, and I still think back fondly on those days.

My parents informed me today that the Citizen-Journal has closed after 128 years of publishing in Boyne City. (Click here for an article about the closing.) The Internet has taken its toll on the newspaper business in general, but this situation hits especially close to home. It is a sad day, indeed.

(As something of a side note, I am really proud of my brother Bradley, whose picture was featured on the front page of the last issue. He is part of band called The Vermeers and there was a story about their new album release.)

Judah Macrae Winkler

Here is a recent picture of Judah Macrae Winkler, born December 15. We're not sure if he's scared of the bear or just hungry. Probably just hungry. I can blog all these things that I've been wanting to blog since the birth but it just didn't feel right because I hadn't posted a birth announcement yet. (Even though I think everyone that reads this blog knew about the birth within 48 hours.)