What a difference a year makes

Posted by on Sep 2nd, 2010 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

A lot of things can and do happen in a year. Good things and bad things. Funny and sad. Some are exciting. Most, mundane. Some things you plan for and others catch you completely unprepared. Being a writer, I think a lot (far too much at times). One question I seem to wonder about often is what I’d do if I could get my hands on a sort of preview list of things that were going to happen to me in the course of the coming year.
After the initial cool factor wore off, and the shock of knowing such a weird and fantastical sort of thing actually existed, I wonder – would I really want to look at such a list and know what’s coming?
I don’t think so. I mean, not to be too transparent or anything, but quite a few things have happened this year that, frankly, I’m glad I didn’t know were on their way. At the very least, I would have stayed in bed the day I “knew” the calamity, or accident or bad news or personal confrontation would happen. Or I would have located a certain person or two and gotten all primal on them.
Not that such immature actions would have prevented any of the bad or negative things from happening, of course. But it seems to me that the simple act of knowing something bad was on its way could drain the joy from the hours, if not days, preceding the event.
Okay, but what about the good things that lie ahead? I hear you asking. (Or maybe that was just our old water heater acting up again. Whatever.) The truth is, I wouldn’t want to know about those in advance, either. Why? Because, through the years, I’ve often found that some of what makes a thing or event such a good memory is its surprise factor. The same unexpectedness that often makes a bad thing so devastating can make a good thing a joy forever. If I knew it was coming, it wouldn’t be that special.
Why so philosophical this week? Anniversaries do that to me, I guess. And as I’m sure you’re no doubt aware, the Crescenta Valley Weekly is now officially one year old. To celebrate, I started looking through the collection I maintain of copies of the paper. I now have 52. One year. Looking back through the weeks, I once again found myself wondering what I’d do if I could have gotten my hands on any given issue a week or two before it was actually published. (Wasn’t there a TV series with that premise at one time? I think it was called “First Edition” or something like that.)
As I was paging through week after week of papers, it dawned on me that a newspaper is the exact opposite of that list I keep imagining about – the one that would give me a foretelling of significant events. I know, big duh. Somehow that was a revelation to me.
Anyway, I’ve philosophized more than enough for now and still need to add my heartfelt congratulations to publisher Robin Goldsworthy and her tenacious, miracle-working, sleep-avoiding staff. What an amazing inaugural year you all have just completed. Congratulations! You have managed to reliably produce a high-quality weekly newspaper that does so much more than simply cover our local news with accuracy, honesty and integrity.
I remember late last spring after hearing that the Crescenta Valley Sun was being shut down by the L.A. Times. Robin and I sat in the cushy chairs at Starbucks on Foothill and Boston discussing the matter. Although she couldn’t give me any specifics – she did say there might be another outlet for my weekly ramblings coming to the Foothills soon.
And now, here we are, more than a year and 52 editions later. Well done, Robin. Just one thing: if you really can predict anything else coming my way, I’d really rather not know.
I’ll see you ‘round town.

Jim Chase is an award-winning advertising copywriter and lifetime CV resident. Find him online at

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