With much on my mind this week as I sat down to write this column, I could not decide whether to talk about something happy, something that makes me scratch my head, or something this newspaper needs. So what you get a smattering of all three.
Starting with the happy part — From the time I was an elementary student trying to sneak a listen to the Cincinnati Reds in a classroom and dropped my transistor radio on the floor, until I became somewhat disenchanted with the team a decade or so ago, I was a pretty faithful follower.
In recent years though, as the losses mounted and age changed the way I perceive things, I have not followed the Reds as much. I continued to follow the standings and such most days, and I listened to games on the radio when it was convenient. But by the time July rolled around and the Reds were already out of contention once again, I paid less and less attention, biding my time until the start of the college football season.
But something happened this year, and I have paid more attention than I have for quite a while. What happened is pretty much from opening day, I saw a bunch of guys in Reds uniforms having fun. It seemed that enthusiasm oozing from younger players was rejuvenating some of the older guys, and it was contagious for an old fan.
After a slump fairly early, and despite several injuries that in past years would have buried them in the standings, this year’s team kept fighting. They kept having fun. And when a couple guys that carried them early on got hurt or fell into a slump, others — even some that were doubtful to see a Major League roster this year — stepped up. Even usually stoic Joey Votto appears to have been reborn.
Here it is almost September and the Reds are in position to make the playoffs. It’s been fun to watch. Fun enough that I’ll keep watching — just not as much once college football starts in less than a week.
Oh, and about that time I dropped a transistor radio when the Reds were playing in the World Series. I was in a rather strict teacher’s classroom, and I figured life as I knew was about to end. But, rather matter of factly, said looked at me and said, “If you’re going to listen to it, turn it up so we all can hear it.”
A few weeks back I wrote a column asking Highland County’s residents to do their part and get a COVID-19 vaccination. I received a few nice emails from old friends who agreed, even one from a former coach, thanking me for trying to help keep the community safe. But most of the feedback opposed my point of view.
That was disappointing, because, people, the answer to making the virus go away, or at least slow down, does not rest in sitting back and doing nothing. It is because too many have done nothing that we are about to see the virus explode right here in Highland County once again.
I understand that there are valid reasons some should not take the shot. And I understand the reluctance of some others. I understand that some will not get very sick if they contract the virus. But that’s not what this thing is all about. It’s about the fact that many will get sick, and if too many get sick, people with other medical issues will die, because there will be no room for them in many hospitals.
If you don’t want to listen to me, try listening to a tired but still determined local health care provider who posted the following on Facebook this week: “What if your grandma comes in and has a stroke and we can’t get her out to a bigger hospital to get the care she needs because there is no beds available? I just think about that … if we get run over here locally we may not get your father out that is having a heart attack. Then what?”
Have you ever thought about reporting on such things for your community? Have you ever thought about having your own column on this page? Because if you ever thought being a reporter is something you might like to do, you have the opportunity right here, right now.
The Times-Gazette is looking for a highly motivated and energetic person with strong writing skills to fill a full-time news reporter position. Journalism experience is preferable, but not necessary. The person would cover various news stories throughout the county, take photos, and be heavily involved in our print edition, website and social media sites.
If you are interested, give me a call. You can reach me at the email address or phone number below.
Jeff Gilliland is the editor of The Times-Gazette. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-402-2522.