Writing gives me pleasure most of the time, especially when the assignment is completed and the copy has been sent off to the editor.
It is especially worthwhile when somebody pays me to write. That has been the case for me off-and-on since my sophomore year in high school. It was 1972 and I sent sports stories to the Transcript Bulletin and got paid 10 cents per column inch. The pay rate has increased incrementally over the 46 years since then.
I’ve been involved in other types of work trying to eke out a living, but nearly all of my earnings have been from writing, editing, shooting some photography and being involved in the behind-the-scenes tasks of producing a newspaper.
I’ve worked as a staff writer and/or editor for several newspapers and as a correspondent for various publications. But most of my work (about 15 years cumulative in three separate stints) has been at the Transcript Bulletin. The people here work hard to produce a quality twice-weekly community newspaper.
I began my first stint at the Transcript Bulletin, along with current editor Dave Bern, back in 1983.
I celebrated my 62nd birthday on Sept. 20 and decided to just work part-time. The part-time schedule started on Oct. 1.
Readers should know “I’m not dead yet!” according to lines from the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
I somewhat hate to give up covering Tooele City because it has been an interesting beat the past two years. The new mayor, city council and city staff work hard to meet new challenges facing the county’s largest municipality.
My part-time work will include helping Sports Editor Darren Vaughan when he can’t be six places at one time, letting readers know about some of the upcoming arts and music events and writing a feature story on occasion.
With a little more time available, I should be able to participate in a variety of other activities, like traveling, attending sporting events, yard work, golfing, hiking, camping and perhaps fishing a few more times than once a year.
It’s been fun the past few years going on an annual two-night camping trip to some spot in the High Uintas with my brother and nephews. Conversation on these excursions is the type that does not occur around female members of the family, and most of it is downright silly. Laughter is common, but there also are occasional groans from the banter.
In August we camped at Tamarack Lake in the northeast section of the High Uintas for the second straight year. The lake is just a short hike from Spirit Lake Lodge. My highlight/lowlight was hooking into an extremely large tiger trout the first night of the trip (see related photo).
I almost landed the big tiger, but not quite. My nephew Ryan said he had his hands on it, but to our dismay, (especially mine) it got away.
We didn’t have a net because the previous year at Tamarack nobody caught a single fish — so why bring a net?
But alas, a few minutes later, nephew Colin hooked into a giant tiger trout and landed it successfully.
“I wonder if that’s the same fish Mark hooked,” Colin said, probably to make me feel better or perhaps worse.
In the future there will be more “big fish” and news stories for me to write about.
After all, I’m not dead yet.