A little self-congratulations are in order here at Sun Gazette World Headquarters, where earlier in the week we passed the mark of 5,000 news/sports/commentary items (all local!) on our newish Website.
It took about 13.5 months to reach that milestone, but given our small but spunky staff, that’s a pretty productivity rate, if you ask around.
I still think the site is not too big, not too small, but just right … if you’re looking for news in our coverage area, that is. We don’t junk it up with so many ads that it becomes unreadable. (We would if such ads actually helped pay the bills, but the return on investment, at least for ads from aggregators rather than ads sold locally, is so little that it’s hardly financially worth it to schlock up sites like some do.) Nor do we give way to the temptation to run items that are mere clickbait but have no particular news value to them. It’s quite a balancing act, indeed.
So now it’s on to the next 5,000 articles!
STILL MY FAVORITE LOCAL-HISTORY ITEM: Of all the items in all the local-history columns we have posted through the years, my favorite is still the one from this coming week back in 1973.
The Northern Virginia Sun reported on the Northern Virginia Sun, with an article noting that the paper was sending some of its most successful paperboys (as the term was at the time) to Florida as a reward for their efforts.
These teens would be hitting the then-newish Walt Disney World, Daytona Beach and other Sunshine State hotspots.
Odds are likely that there was some kind of adult chaperoning all this, but my heart hopes that it was like the 1970s classic sequel “Bad News Bears in Breaking Training,” where the team managed to road-trip to Houston with only one older teenager doing the driving and no adults in sight.
A bunch of teenage paper carriers on the loose in Florida? If my body holds out to retirement, I’ll write a movie script on the topic. And as I say every year when I bring up this topic: If you were on that trip, get in touch. I’d love to hear the details. Embellishment welcomed, especially if it wasn’t quite the bacchanalian feast of fun that I have convinced myself it was.
Speaking of the first week of April in 1973, the top song in the country was “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando (and Dawn … never forget Dawn!). But instead, I’ll embed the No. 2 song that week: “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” the one and only hit from TV’s Vicky Lawrence. It had been #1 just the week before. Enjoy.