Tuesday, December 31, 2013

From the Heart

Curly (Jack Palance): Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger] This.
Mitch (Billy Crystal): Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean shit.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what you have to find out.

This is blog entry two hundred, one hundred and ninety-five of which have been posted. Four sit as drafts, a sort of holding pattern for the day I need them. One - in what can only be described as a fit of blatant presumption - was a private gift to a friend. What follows is a retrospective, a chance for me to revisit some of the posts that are dear to my heart. 

My first entry posted June 24, 2009 announced Bikecopblog and requested "back-up". I got four hits, which were probably all me checking punctuation and spelling. Not an especially fabulous start.

I wrote sporadically, only really getting my sea legs in 2011. By then I'd found a voice, and gotten comfortable with being read. That is harder than I thought it would be.

Writing about work has been an act of self-preservation. A San Diego police officer was ambushed - it made me think of how often I and my friends are in the same vulnerable position. At the same time I just had to comment on an officer who sent pornography to someone over their police car computer. The public's misconceptions about our safety, the rules we follow and the consequences of an injury led to several articles. The price we pay...often unknown outside our little world.

Vacations.... The cruises, the trips to Florida, the many opportunities to get on a plane and fly somewhere, dear wife at my side. If I can't be a sportswriter in my next life, please God let me write for a travel company.

Cycling. Who knew, right? Among the writing I've loved most was a chance to recapture bike rides with my friends. Riding the Triple was fabulous, the company outstanding. Lance? Complicated.

Occasional athletic events catch my eye, and my keyboard. Charming Olympic judo medalist Marti Malloy, a hit piece about a hurdler (I got to indulge a bit of name calling), and my total love of the Olympics are even year affairs.

I've loved writing about things I hold dear. A chance encounter became Theodore. I saved a picture of Marines praying over the body of one of their fallen, knowing that someday I could find the words for it. The tragedy of mass, indiscriminate shootings and the inevitable conversation (or lack thereof) about how these madmen acquired their weapons has occupied several pages. The triumphs, tragedies, and travails of being a police officer in the early stages of the twenty-first century have appeared here - that many of you have read and shared these is humbling. I've tried to add a little humor - cops have wicked senses of humor - with admittedly uneven results.

I have been most touched, beyond my meager efforts to thank you, by the number of readers who have visited when I write about family members. Within the last three years we've lost my dad and my mother-in-law. Our children have had children, one under the most trying of circumstances. I've paid out-of-town visits. Through these intensely personal moments Bikecopblog readers have honored me.

I don't have a favorite. Some are fairly well written. Others.... I'm not sure what I was talking about. There was one - written after two West Webster (NY) firefighters were murdered - that garnered a simple comment from someone named Tracie. I still tear up to read her response.

I know this has been self-indulgent. Thank you for reading, not just this but the others as well. Writers write so readers can read. I am blessed that so many people have come along for this most enjoyable journey.

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