Friday, March 23, 2012

No. 804 – We Said Hello, Goodbye (Don't Look Back)

Performer: Phil Collins
Songwriter: Phil Collins
Original Release: No Jacket Required (CD)
Year: 1985
Definitive Version: None

As I mentioned, buying my first CD player in 1990 opened up my music—particularly albums that had CD-only songs on them. I knew No Jacket Required backwards and forwards, but the CD version had this song on it, which the tape version did not, and I liked it right away.

When I joined the Flint Journal in 1989, one other person on the copy desk was my age. Everyone else was at least 10 years older and most were 25 years older. Some of them were cool, and I joined a group who always went to a bar around the corner from the newspaper and started getting their drink on at about noon during the lunch break. But before long, I realized that I needed an alternative.

Soon after I started, it was revealed to me that the Journal was going to start zoned sections—one for Lapeer and one for what they called Lake County, which consisted of Fenton and Holly. In fact, the Journal had just started a Fenton bureau and were going to be hiring a reporter to help handle the news down there. I was hired because of my experience with zoning at the Daily Herald, and I was to be in charge of the copy that flowed into the paper from the bureaus and designing those sections.

My desk early on was under the newbies post in the newsroom where the paper would post pictures of new hires, and before long they posted the picture of the guy who was going to be the main reporter down in Fenton. I took note of the face that was attached to the name on the copy I was starting to see on my terminal. It was Dave.

At about that time, I found out that the Flint Journal newsroom had a Rotisserie baseball league—an original draft-style single-major-league version—and apparently there had been a huge rift in the league, so four teams were open to anyone who wanted to join.

I hadn’t played since Wabash, so I was game. Again, I was surrounded mostly by guys who were much older than I was. What is it with this paper? Is Flint where newspaper vets go to die? There was one other newbie in the league who was my age: Dave again. I recognized his face from his picture on the newbie post.

Anyway, I was given my choice of four teams to take. I scanned the rosters and saw that one had Ken Griffey Jr. and Roger Clemens—two of my favorite players. That was enough for me, and Willie’s Wonkas were reborn. The draft would be in a couple weeks.

As I was leaving, Dave walked out with me, and we started talking about the league and how it—and the guys in it—seemed kind of messed up. Common ground. Then we started talking about baseball and from there moved quickly to baseball cards. You don’t get many 26-year-old dudes who talk about collecting cards for fun instead of the investment—particularly when there weren’t many 26-year-old dudes at the newspaper to begin with—so that was cool.

By the time we went our separate ways, we had made tentative plans to go see a Tigers game and maybe get to a card show. A friendship was born.

1 comment:

  1. A friendship born -- and remains strong more than 20 years later! Can it be that long?