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How my career has come full circle

This time next week it will have already been a year since I took over as editor of the Review.

Time flies.

For the most part everything has gone well, especially considering that our full-time, three-man crew of general manager Cal Crane and reporter Bill Evans and I have all been here around the same amount of time. Some days it’s very rewarding and others a bit frustrating but that’s how it is with any job.

Since it’s my one-year anniversary I thought I’d again take you down the path of my earlier days in Boulder City, with this time being how I got my start into journalism.

It was October 1985 and I was a junior at BCHS. I always had a knack for writing so I decided to select the journalism class as one of my electives. I had been in that class for just a couple of months before hearing that there was an opening for sports editor at the former Boulder City News.

Being a sports fan since I was little, I decided in my infinite teenaged wisdom that I’d apply for the job.

At the time, my work experience consisted of delivering pizzas and washing dishes for Guy’s Villa Capri and later being a fry cook at Jack in the Box. You know, the normal pathway to becoming a professional journalist.

Thanks to the backing of my journalism teacher, Gail Lenning, the editor at that time, Bill Harbour, agreed to give me a shot… something I have always been appreciative of.

While I knew sports and was a good writer, I didn’t know much in the way of writing journalistically. To say it was trial and error is a bit of an understatement.

Being that I was a full-time student and athlete at the school, being sports editor was limited to that of a freelancer. I was paid a whopping $15 an article but at that time minimum wage was $3.50 an hour. Either way, I wasn’t getting rich.

I remember my first article was that of covering the BCHS girls in the divisional playoffs for volleyball. I used an old-time Smith Corona typewriter that I believe my grandmother gave us. Here’s the catch… I didn’t know how to type. Truth be told, I still don’t. Over the past four decades I have honed the craft of hunting and pecking. Whatever body part is closest to the key is what I use. Despite writing more than 10,000 articles in my career, I still have to subconsciously look at the keyboard when typing. I’m gifted in that way.

I still remember the night before the first edition came out with my articles.

While some of my schoolmates were worried about zits, the math test on Tuesday or what they were doing that weekend, I was stressed about other things.

In the Boulder City News sports banner was the name and title of the sports editor. I had nightmares that my name was misspelled.

I frantically ran out to get the paper at the crack of dawn to see that it was spelled neither correctly or incorrectly because it was not there.

My bylines were there but not my name in the banner. Bill reminded me that it was only my first week.

By week two, it was there.

Looking back, I have no idea how I juggled being an honor roll student (barely), an athlete (track) and sports editor all at the same time. I stress out now just thinking about that.

The high school was great about allowing me to travel with the teams whenever and wherever I wanted. I was a student-athlete but I still had to let the office know whenever I was wearing my proverbial press hat and planned to go with the teams. I’d say at least once a week I was on the road with a team going to Moapa Valley or to Pahrump or to Needles or to Lake Havasu.

Once I traveled to Elko with the football team. Once.

And there were a couple times I went with the basketball team to the state tournament in Reno. I was there to do a job but it was fun because I was on the buses and in the stands with friends.

I’ve often wondered if Bill had not given me that chance as a 16-year-old if I would have gotten into journalism. Trust me, I’ve had my moments when I’ve questioned whether or not I should have.

Yes, we take our lumps and it’s often a thankless job but I’m proud to be a journalist and I’m proud to say I’m now the editor of my hometown newspaper.

But I can’t help but wonder if by now I would have made assistant shift leader at Jack in the Box.

Ah, a boy can dream.

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