Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reunited at last!

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this to you, but contrary to all physical and statistical evidence, I still think I'm young! Somehow I've managed to avoid all those undeniable things, such as growing children, who are rock-solid proof that time has passed. Let's not talk about the wrinkles for now.

At any rate, this past weekend some 150 alumni and spouses of the Miami News, the newspaper for which I worked at the end of my journalism career, gathered in Miami for a reunion and a chance to mourn the passing of the paper, which closed its doors back in 1989 -- nine years after I'd left. Now, if you're doing the math, that means it's been 30 years since I have seen some of these folks. I'm still reeling from that discovery, since I don't think anything significant in my life should have occurred that long ago.

This was also the first reunion of any kind I've ever attended. I've skipped my high school reunions and, to the best of my knowledge the School of Journalism at Ohio State (now the School of Communications, I think) hasn't held a reunion of people from my era. Of course, there are people from both places that I've seen through the years, but there are many others I have not. So, this was the first time I've gone to anything, looked around and discovered -- oh, sweet heaven -- I might be old!

Two of my friends from way back when stayed with me over the weekend -- a couple who actually wed in the gazebo by the ocean at my condo. We all agreed after it was over that we haven't had so much fun in years. Not only did we see old friends, there were so many, many stories of days gone by. The memories kept tumbling out about the characters who made our newsroom a very special place to work, the grit and determination with which many of us did our best to beat the competition, the much larger Miami Herald, and the way we all played together on the softball field, on tennis courts, and at some wildly outrageous parties. No other place I've ever worked had that kind of camaraderie and it was so wonderful to have a chance to remember it.

Sadly, with traditional newspapers changing dramatically and fading away, very few of those at the reunion still work in the industry. Some have retired. Some, like me, have gone on to other things. But our hearts and souls are still in journalism, the old-fashioned, gritty kind that made sure our readers were informed accurately and objectively. So even as we celebrated being together, we mourned that change.

I hope all of you have a chance from time to time to renew old acquaintances like this. If the opportunity arises, take advantage of it before it's too late. And if you already have and would like to share some of the memories it stirred for you, click on comments below or send me an email at Sherryl703@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you.

Sherryl Woods

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