Newspapers and Good Fortune

This morning I stepped outside my front door at about 645am, picked up the newspaper and found myself drawn back to my childhood house in Northern New Jersey. As I waited for the shuttle to pick me up, that $1.25 newspaper in my hand struck me. See, I’ve always loved newspapers, even dating back to my early teens in New Jersey. I loved reading the New York Post’s endless baseball statistics once a week. I always absorbed the local section of the Bergen Record. However, in my childhood home, a newspaper subscription didn’t make the cut when my mother and stepfather considered their budget. I asked and asked but we could never afford a daily subscription. As a result, I would often walk to the local library and plow through The Record, New York Post and The Daily News (the NY Times seemed too mature).

A few months would pass, and once again I’d beg for a subscription to a newspaper, any newspaper. But we just couldn’t afford it. Oftentimes, my stepfather would return from the graveyard shift as a police officer, and before turning in to sleep, he’d drop the Sunday Record on the kitchen table. This was a treat beyond words. I’d see this massive stack of papers resting on our ancient kitchen table and my day would be set. I was able to see the world while flipping through the pages.

About six months ago, at the age of 34, I ordered my first subscription to a newspaper, the New York Times. Every morning as I open the front gate, the world awaits in a small blue bag on my front stoop. It wasn’t until this morning that I realized that, in addition to all that I explore and learn through its pages each day, the fact that I’m able to do so, means that much more.