Sunday, August 17, 2014

Eight Years

Yogi and Bill Dickey both wore 8 in The Bronx.

"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes." - John Wooden
The history is simple. Eight years ago, after feeling the pressure of other writers who stepped into the world of blogging, I took the plunge. Many of them have come and gone, and I'm sorry they haven't returned (and I, at times, out of nowhere, will remind them of this. I'm like that).

I didn't want to do Exit 55 unless I did it right. I didn't want to write for a few months and walk away. I needed a name, and it hit me just before I began our efforts here. I wanted it to be topical, sometimes personal, and create conversation. Sometimes, the goals have been met.

I got more at times. I made friends as a result. I ticked people off. The readership numbers have never been great, and while I didn't write for the readers, it sometimes made me wonder why I should keep doing it.

Kind of like radio in that way where you just keep plugging along with the hope that someone is interested.

Yet here we are. A lot has happened in eight years, and those who have been around know this. My life has changed so drastically from August 17, 2006, and you all know it. I think, in a lot of ways, I have changed. In many ways I'm still the same, but I really think if you knew me then and now, you would say the shell is still the same, the heart and soul are still the same, but that there are differences.

I'd like to think I'm a better person today. I don't really know who can judge that.

It's been fun, and I still lament that I don't write enough. Most of the time, I have a story I want to tell but finding the time/energy/words isn't always easy. There are still a few who tap me on the shoulder and say "you need to write more" and I'll put Mick at the top of the list for that. I know a few others who, best to my knowledge, still read all of it. I think Jon is always there, and Harold, and have picked up Paul and John and some others along the way. I can't thank you enough. I like to write. Sometimes I didn't care if anyone read it. In reality, I think that's false. I care.

I'm sure I've lost some along the way also. Sometimes members of my family read, and sometimes they don't. To be honest, I don't really know for sure. Overall, I don't know who is reading.

The journey has been like all journeys. It's been sad, spectacular, thought-provoking, angry, bewildered, and more.

We've seen hurricanes and Super Bowls. Births and deaths. Broadcasts and World Series. We've talked about Blue Knights, Renegades, Cardinals, Rams, Blue Wave, Tigers, Bluefish, and Sound Tigers. We've covered the Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Steelers, Devils, Giants, and so on. You get the point.

We've been to Aberdeen, Boston, San Diego, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Key West,  Las Vegas, Washington DC, Tampa/St. Pete, Oneonta, Albany, Charleston, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Scranton, and of course, Richmond. I'll likely pass through Richmond on Wednesday on my way to Fayetteville, NC.

Which brings to me Waffle House. Krispy Kreme. Wawa. Yacco's hot dogs. Too many roadside stops on too many roads.

I've taken you to too many press boxes, and a Press Box. We've been to WGCH, WBNR, WLNA, and HAN Radio. There are new horizons and big changes in my radio life to come...

I've perhaps said the names Bobby Murcer, Vin Scully, Huey, Lewis, Sean, Lisa and a few more way too many times. Maybe that pushed you away. Maybe that endeared you.

I've enacted Rule 55 a bunch of times also, when I just really wanted to say something, but couldn't.

I've had to explain the words written here, or on social media probably more than I ever really wanted to. Sometimes it was because I was too vague. Sometimes it was because I was too blunt. Sometimes it was because of an error in judgement.

I've introduced you to friends and writers who have come and gone.

At best, I've been loyal to those same friends, no matter who they might be. If they've walked into my life, I likely haven't dropped them.

At worst, I've been loyal to those same friends, no matter who they might be. If they've walked into my life, I likely haven't dropped them.

The last two sentences are the same, all based on perception, but it's just part of being me.

To quote a wise man (Popeye), "I yam what I yam."

That still couldn't get me to eat spinach.

As we start year nine, I make no predictions about writing more, and I realize I don't need to. I'm not paid to do this, but I remain committed to it, no matter how many times I've plotted my farewell post (to go along with shutting down my Facebook and Twitter accounts).

But I'm still here. Lisa is along for the ride. Sean, the most wonderfully unique and loving child/young man, is still the co-pilot. I'm trying to simply enjoy these days as I can.

I know my life isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. Yet all I can do is go a day at a time. I learned that a long time ago. Just keep moving forward.

So we will.

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