Back in the saddle again

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And so begins another go-round in sports writing for me—with an ironic twist.

In my many years writing for The Record Herald, I developed a portfolio of all my writings—game stories, feature stories and, of course, columns. I separated them based on each category and into a folder they went.

To me, the printed word was THE word.

My, oh my, has the world changed!

It’s an irony that as I begin another chapter in the field of writing, it will be in the digital realm, and not on the printed page. It’s also symbolic in some way and, not in a perfect way; yet, a purpose is being served for a readership that wants to read something it can relate to.

The era of page-turning has become collateral damage to the digital tsunami that began with this phenomenon called the World Wide Web.

The web has taken on a life of its own. It has also grown tentacles from computers, tablets and, of course, the all-knowing, all-seeing mobile devices that have drained the eyes and minds of billions worldwide.

Forgive me, if I can’t give you the occasion to have to wipe off fresh newsprint from your fingers. You will have to press the print button for that – a poor substitute for a story hot-off-the-press, not to mention the distinct sound the newspaper makes upon turning the page.

It’s a different world, but all of us have to try to make it work for us. It’s a lot to ask, yet it is still possible. It’s not the world that defines us; it is we who define the world, or at least our part of the world.

I’m talking, of course, about Waynesboro, the borough named after Revolutionary War General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. So popular was he, that no less than five states (Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi) honored the late general with a town named after him.

And the one thing people from Waynesboro want most is to identify with the town named after General Wayne.

The newspaper rack in front of the former Record Herald building on Walnut Street was one place to be once the freshly-printed papers came out the front door. Newspaper deliverers on foot, bicycles and automobiles made their way throughout parts of Franklin County. If the paper didn’t get to someone on time, the phones would ring.

Ah, those were the good old days.

Local news—or from my side of the tracks, community journalism—is on life support.

Indeed, it’s a different world, but you know the rest.

In my 17-plus years with the newspaper, very little changed. Parents supported their local teams, whether it be youth, middle school, travel teams or high school. The same goes for today in Smalltown, USA.

In some measure, large or small (mostly large) things still haven’t changed. Remember the adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same?” It’s true. Because change cannot change what is constant, what is true. It may change its outward form, but it will never alter the inner purity of what binds a people, a community.

So, Go Indians! Go Maidens!

Lee Goodwin has ventured out of retirement and back onto the sports fields and courts to cover athletics for Local.News. If you see him at a game, say “hello.”