A friend alerted me to the finding of a box of my newspaper clippings. There being no reason for the newspaper where I had worked to keep them, she invited me to come by and pick them up. Even after picking up the box, noting my handwriting on the file folders and reading a few of the clips, I have no memory of how that box ended up in the now-vacated newspaper office. The clippings were divided by year and by type (editorials, columns or general articles).
A few of the clippings I've read so far brought back memories of plays I had reviewed, experiences I had shared with readers and my defending of the newspaper's policies and decision making. One lengthy column was devoted to a phone call from an upset reader that turned into an explanation of the federal system of government and the education of the reader who didn't know that states have constitutions and legislatures and their own laws — all news to her.
My wife asked me what I planned to do with that dusty old cardboard box and its yellowed newsprint clippings. I told her, optimistically, that I might read through the clippings and set aside the better pieces. I could publish a book of those selected writings, a little book that might someday mean something to my children or grandchildren. Online publishing makes that possible today. It might even be a reminder of nearly 30 years of N.C., U.S. and Wilson County history, at least as seen by one journalist.
Finding the time and the motivation to tackle that project and wipe away all the dust — literal and metaphoric — will be a challenge.