Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Twenty Years

As I remember it, it was a Saturday.  I was living in an apartment in a part of Miami called Country Walk.  I had been following a number of blogs, including one run called Dohiyi Mir by N Todd Pritsky, who, at the time, lived in Vermont.  He was insightful, funny, and I enjoyed commenting on it.  He and other bloggers such as Josh Marshall and Ezra Klein were making sense of the crazy world of 2003.  So I decided it was my turn, and via Blogger, I came up with a name for the blog and a blog-nym that I had been using when I commented on other blogs: Mustang Bobby, the nickname of Bobby Cramer, a character in one of my novels.  And that Saturday afternoon of November 8, 2003, I signed on with my little Toshiba laptop.

A lot has happened in twenty years. I live in a different place in Miami, I am on my third computer since the Toshiba, and I retired from my job with Miami-Dade County Public Schools four years ago.  I have written fifty-five plays — some even produced — and had seven scripts published by Next Stage Press, and finished the novel Bobby Cramer.  Yet I still have the antique Pontiac station wagon, I’m on my second Mustang since then, and I still go to car shows.  Back then we were all outraged by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and were counting down the days to the next election in a year when at long last sanity would be returned to America.  Barack Obama was still a community organizer in Chicago and Trump was still a huckster ripping off the foolish and the weak.  [Insert the obligatory sigh.]  But there was a lot to write about, and I did my best to keep up.

As far as I can tell, I haven’t missed a day of blogging since then except when I was rudely interrupted by a couple of hurricanes and power outages.  I will be the first to admit that over the last few years I’ve tended toward cutting-and-pasting articles that I find interesting.  I suppose I could be called lazy, but I’d like to think that I’m honoring those whose writing and insight I admire.  I enjoy finding interesting pieces of music for “A Little Night Music,” and I am happy to keep up with the Sunday Doonesbury strip.  I will try to keep up with our fight for democracy here in Florida — Ron DeSantis is term-limited, but I’m not — and I’ll keep you up with my playwriting.  I’ve parted company with the William Inge Theatre Festival, but I’ll take you along to other festivals and theatres, including Valdez, Alaska, assuming I get invited back.

If I started to say thanks to everyone who has been a part of this journey, I’d go on for a very long time.  But I have to say thanks to my brother, CLW, who has been my back-end genius, getting the blog into the current format and guiding me through several server changes.  Without him, I’d still be on Blogger.  And then there are those who turned to me as a contributor, most notably Melissa McEwan of the late and much-missed Shakesville.  I learned so much from her: how to be a better writer, but more importantly, how to be a better human being.  Hugs, my Friend.  And of course N Todd, who I found out several years into this journey that once he was my parents’ paperboy in Perrysburg, Ohio.  We are all one small world.  But most of all, I thank you, Dear Readers.

I’ll end this with two thoughts, the first from F. Scott Fitzgerald:  “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” And the second from Josiah Bartlet: “What’s next?”

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