Happy Fathers Day, Dads! Special shout out to my own, who wrote the article below about raising two girls back in a March 2000 edition of the Reading Eagle. I was the eight year old mentioned.
You may recognize his name; my Dad worked at the Reading Eagle for the majority of my lifetime, starting in 1993 as a stringer, and survived through the bankruptcy and layoffs as Assistant Editor until he left just last September to become Head Editor of the Delco Times.
I have recollections of the bustling Reading Eagle newsroom from a few “bring your kids to work” days. The tippity tapping of keyboards and ringing phones as constant background noise. Maybe it was because I was a child, but it felt like something important was happening there.
Only more recently in life have I considered myself a writer. Following in his footsteps of a journalism profession was not something that I had considered when deciding on a career path. I did shadow the Eagle designers for a day to complete my “Senior Project” requirements to graduate from Wilson High School in 2009. Seeing how the journalism industry has played out since; I am glad it is not something I pursued.
Watching the decline of the Reading Eagle through him was a slow and sad journey. When he finally left last year it felt like the end of an era. Though I have no doubts – where the once behemoth local news outlet left a gaping hole – others will fill in with new mediums, styles and formats. It is the nature of all things to rise and fall.
My path was destined to be a creative one. I have found purpose in this small corner of the internet where my own writing has blossomed. While the “circulation” of my articles have not yet rivaled his, I have independently gained the attention of thousands of Berks County natives who appreciate the work I do. I like to think I have fulfilled his desire to see eight year old me flourish professionally and personally.
Time has a funny way of bringing things full circle. Twenty-three years later and I now have two children of my own to lug to bed nightly. When I look at them I wonder what kind of people they will turn out to be. I can only instill in them what was instilled in me.