In July of 2016, when I sent my first article to the Delaware Gazette, I was absolutely thrilled when they published it. It was about my memories of going to the Strand Theatre.
Since it was published, the very next week I sent in a second one. It was about my missing eating at the Brown Jug restaurant. And this one was also published. By the time my third article was sent and published, I felt I was on a roll.
So, after every week that I had an article published, I sent another one. And that’s the way it has gone for these past 52 weeks. I never missed a week sending one, and they never missed a week of publishing them.
At the end of 2016, I had the idea that it would be a nice challenge to see if I could keep up this routine until one whole year had passed. My first article was published on July 20, 2016, and now you are reading this article No. 52, which is to be published on July 26, 2017. One whole year has passed, and now I am at a crossroads as what to do next.
The first thing I have promised myself, is to take a vacation. That will give me time to decide on what to do next. I put the pressure on myself to do the 52 articles, week after week, after week. The subject of each article came to me after finishing one and sending it off, and then wondering what I could write about next.
I started with the story about the Strand Theatre, then the Brown Jug Restaurant, followed by My Favorite Libraries, Things I Have Lost, My First Day of School (at OWU), Waiting on the Washer Repairman, the Rec Center at the Old North School, and ending with No. 10 being about Tango Tag, our First Race Horse. Those articles were followed by 16 more, to reach the halfway point of the 52 articles. The timeline was perfect. As the year of 2016 ended, I wrote a review of my first 26 articles published in the Delaware Gazette.
Starting in January of 2017, I had articles about Shopping Downtown Delaware, Bubba & Bevis (the draft horses), All Day in an Airboat, Trials of a Court Case, with other later ones including a One Room Schoolhouse, 50 Mother’s Days with Mom, Attending Class Reunions, Moving-Moving-Moving, It Takes a Barn to Have a Farm, and An Old Delaware County Map.
I have enjoyed the feedback from people on the street, in restaurants, emails, phone calls, and even someone on the street rolling down her window as she drove by and shouted, “Nice article, Mrs. Conklin.” I never did find out who that was.
This type of writing has given my husband and me a different subject to talk about every week. I may be doing the writing, but he is doing a lot of the contributing. Especially on articles about horses, racing, building the cabin, his one room schoolhouse, barns, Delaware County fair, and of course, his lost billfold at the Orlando airport. If it hadn’t happened that he lost his billfold that day, these articles would never have come about. So, it’s a big Thank you to him for his contributions, and to the Gazette for their publications.
And, of course, a big Thank you to you, the public, for reading these words that I have written. I have a short story I would like to end with. Recently, while at the library, I talked to a gentleman named Mr. Bell. He told me that he likes reading my articles every week. But, he said, he can’t remember what he had read. I told him that it doesn’t matter that he can’t remember them. If he enjoyed reading them, that’s all that matters.
After all, it’s not like something you have to read for school and be tested on. I am just writing for people’s enjoyment while reading. So, enjoy.
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.