This week marks the milestone of my 500th column published by the Lodi News-Sentinel.
Considering I had no journalism degree or newspaper experience, it’s hard to believe I have come this far. Competition was tough and newspaper space limited.
Not to mislead: I did have some background in writing. For one thing, my mother was a “j” school grad from the University of Southern California and a White House reporter.
But she thought my high school compositions were terrible and finally gave up correcting them. Journalism hardly seemed like a future career.
Instead, I majored in music at the University of the Pacific. I was pretty lazy, and thought studying music theory was an excellent option for avoiding long hours of written homework. But I did have a minor in English literature (thank goodness for CliffsNotes).
I wrote a column for the school paper called “Makin’ the Scene,” which was composed mostly of bad journalism plagiarized from equally bad writers.
My stab at writing would not end there. I graduated from Army Officer Candidate School in 1968. Of course, I was hoping for a gig in music. (How’s that for a denier of reality?) Yet during the Vietnam War, it was simply not an option.