When that school newspaper came off the ditto machine, I was hooked

newspaper memories writ clean and pain

Mark Bialczak

Public domain (Froom xxxxx.com) Public domain (From finebooksmagazine.com)

My writing quest goes back to the days of the ditto machine.

It was the eighth grade.

I loved sports. I tried out for the junior high basketball team. I made it to the final cut before Coach Herb Friedman did not call out my name. We lived in a big school district on Long Island, so I only felt bad for a little while.

My friends that did make the team, though, they knew how much I loved the sport. All sports, really. I was a playground regular for hoops and street hockey. I’d tuck my mitt under my arm and bike to the park for pickup baseball in the summer sun, and watch the steam come out of our mouths while we played no-equipment tackle into the fall nights, after swearing to our parents that we’d only play touch.

And they knew that I…

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