On July 11, 2009, World Wide of Stuff was born.
These were the first words I wrote on the site you’re now reading:
**So as I sat in my eight-bedroom mansion by the lake the other night (actually, my two bedroom apartment near a fake pond, but whatever), I thought, “how can I help my fellow man today? Can I give my time to a worthy charity? Should I try to make a difference in the life of a child?”
Nah. There’s plenty of time for that in the future. So I decided to start a blog.
Does the world need another blog, especially one by a 33-year-old sports writer? Of course not. But then again, we didn’t need a reality show about housewives in New Jersey, but we got one.
All right, so it wasn’t exactly Updike or Fitzgerald.
So much in my life has changed since this site started. For one, I no longer live in a two-bedroom apartment in Florida; now I live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.
I was married then, and I’m married now, but to a different woman than I was back then (hey, life is complicated).
I left one career (newspaper journalism), started another (teaching), and am about to embark on the hardest and most rewarding job of them all: Being a father.
I truly had no idea what this site would evolve into, or if anyone would ever read it. At its best it’s been a conversation, and hopefully some of the issues I’ve ranted about, or linked to, have made you think, laugh, or cry just a little bit.
I’ve written 1,467 posts (I just looked it up), which sounds like a lot but is basically a little less than one a day), and I still get a little thrill when someone in real life or in cyberspace tells me they read my post that day and liked it.
I said a few months ago when “announcing” that our first baby will be born in September that I have no idea what that will mean for the blog; I’m thinking my daily weekday pace may slow down (infants suck up a whole of time, I’ve heard!) but who knows, maybe I’ll need to blog more to keep myself sane.
I promise that the blog will continue in some form, and that it won’t ever devolve into daily posts of “let me tell you about the adorable thing my kid did today!” (Because other than my parents, nobody really wants to read that).
I’ve had so much fun writing this for the last five years, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by.
**OK, time for some real good news. There’s a line in the movie “The Color of Money” (which I love but so many people dislike) where Paul Newman talks about how he invests in and appreciates excellence, wherever he finds it.
That’s how I feel about Larry Hannon of Westminster, Pa., who might be the best school bus driver of all time.
He’s won 8 NSTA International Safety Competitions, or “roadeos,” this story reports (who knew there were bus driver Olympics?), more than anybody else ever has.
Listening to Hannon talk about his job, you can just feel the joy he gets out of it.
“I just like to drive the buses and it’s fun with the kids and all,” he said.
Hannon added that his favorite part of the job is “trying to get a good rapport with the students on the bus, trying to be a positive influence on them … That’s the neatest part of it, the kids on the bus.”
Good on ya, Larry Hannon. Keep doing what you love.
**And finally, on this blogiversary, I wanted to finish with one of my favorite videos I’ve ever posted on here. It’s a simple little scene of a little boy, a little girl, and first love, and it makes me smile every time I watch.
Hope you smile at it again, too. Take it away, Elliott and Bowie… (Click here to see them one year later).