I’ll be going to a get-together later on this evening. CityBeat is throwing a little bit of a party to celebrate 20 years in business. The party is being held on Pike Street here in Covington, Kentucky and I’m going to try and get my old bones to walk the few blocks I need to walk to get there.
Being invited to this party reminds me of the first CityBeat party I was ever invited to.
In May of 1999, CityBeat published the first thing I had ever wrote for them—an essay on AIDS. One thing led to another and at the end of August in that year, I started working in their accounting department. I viewed this as a foot in the door to become one of their writers. If they, the co-publishers, didn’t know it then, they’re finding out about it now.
Come November of 1999, the paper was celebrating 5 years in business. That year, the party was held at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati at their old location in the Mercantile Center on 5th Street. At that point, I didn’t really know anybody and nobody knew me. I felt awkward and after staying at the party for about 45 minutes, I took a bus home.
That was my first CityBeat party and certainly not my last. Over the years, I’ve gone to several of them—all a good time. Feeling awkward, long ago, went away.
It’s hard for me to believe the paper is 20 years old. I say this too many times, but time truly does fly.
I remember walking around in downtown Cincinnati and every Thursday—that’s the day CityBeat came out back then—I would pick up a copy of it along with Everybody’s News. At first, I thought Everybody’s News was the better paper, but as time went on, the opposite became true.
It occurs to me to name all the writers who have written for the paper and who have enlightened me or entertained me over the years but I would probably leave someone out by accident, so I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to say there’s a reason why CityBeat has won so many writing awards over the years. It’s quality stuff.
Once a CityBeater, always a CityBeater. I think most of us who work there or worked there feel the same way. Here’s something I can say about working at CityBeat that I can’t say about anywhere else I’ve worked. I like everybody there—past and present. Now, how odd is that?
On a selfish note (yes, it always gets back to me, doesn’t it?), I owe CityBeat a writing career. Dan Bockrath and John Fox, the co-publishers who hired me, know this. I will forever be grateful to them.
I’m also grateful they’re having this party tonight over here in Covington, Kentucky so close to where I live. It was very considerate of the CityBeat staff to do this just for me.
Yeah, I know that’s bullshit, but let me think it anyway.
(Image from CityBeat)