By Corrin Strong, publisher
The question I am getting a lot now is, What
next? The simple answer is I don't know and I'm not in
any hurry to decide. After 18 years on deadline, I'm ready for
a little time off. Newspaper publishing is a very intense lifestyle
and I definitely will need some time to decompress. On the other
hand, at age 56, I'm not quite ready for the scrap heap. We
will keep the Clarion Copy Center open and hope to expand our
job printing and graphic design business. I will also continue
to be active in the Big Box War, which for the last year has
sometimes seemed like a full-time job in itself. In the longer
term there are a number of possibilities I will be considering.
Here (in no particular order) are the Top Ten:
1.The Law: In the last year I have used
my legal training more than I have since I retired from the
practice of law 20 years ago. I suppose I could dust off my
law degree and try to actually get paid for my legal advice.
The only problem is that the people I would want to represent
(citizen's groups and hellraisers) don't usually have much money!
2. Politics: Public service continues to
interest me. I recently accepted the position as recording secretary
of the Livingston County Highway Safety Board, and I hope to
help that body become more pro-active. Next year there will
be another election in the village. Perhaps I will run a rematch
for village trustee against Bill Lofquist and Bob Wilcox. Barring
another blizzard on election day, I might have a chance next
3. Writing: I will of course continue to
write: letters to my local editor, an online blog (check out
clarioncall.com), Volume 2 of the Best of the Clarion Call,
or perhaps I will finally publish my first novel and go out
on a national book tour.
4. Travel: For the past 18 years I have
spent almost every Tuesday chained to my desk. My children have
seen more of the world on school trips than I have, which is
a situation I hope to remedy before I am too old to enjoy it.
Perhaps I'll start with a visit to my cousin Ambassador Stuart
Symington in beautiful Djibouti!
5. Music: I spent a good part of my early
life playing drums in a rock and roll band. I can also play
a little rhythm guitar and always wanted to learn bass. I have
been threatening for years to get the band back together and
head out on the road. Anyone need a drummer?
6. Sports: This is one area where I definitely
don't intend to cut back. Basketball four times a week and tennis
in between is my prescription for mental health. In fact, I
began construction of my own clay tennis court last fall so
that I can extend my tennis career. Look for the Big House Tennis
Academy to open sometime next summer. Reserve your private lessons
now. (No I am not joking!)
7. Hospitality: Speaking of the Big House,
I have to figure some way to pay the taxes and the upkeep on
my historic home, Hartford House. One possibility is to rent
out the grounds for weddings and other functions. I'm not comfortable
with using the house itself, except for the occasional charitable
event, but I do have 75 acres of gorgeous views.
8. Get a real job: For most of my adult
life I have been on my own. As a farmer, a lawyer, a small retailer
and a publisher, I've always been my own boss. It may be too
late to change that now, but if you see a fit, make me an offer!
9. Volunteer: One positive result of getting
out of the newspaper rat race is that I will be able to do more
volunteer work. I've enjoyed my service as an ambulance driver
and will probably pick up another shift or two.
10. The Unexpected: What seems most likely,
is that something that is not even on this list will turn out
to be my next passion. The whole point of taking time off is
to be sure that whatever I end up doing is something that I
really want to do. Life is too short for anything else.