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Susan Page

22 Years Of ‘Excavating’ And Sharing

As I have reflected on MidWeek‘s 30th anniversary, it occurred to me that my relationship with MidWeek as a columnist has gone on longer than any of my marriages, some friendships, two former businesses and all residences.

Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago, November 1992, I consummated this partnership by submitting a “riveting” piece on the fashion-worthiness of the color gold. I pray it’s gone uphill since then.

Almost 1,000 columns later, I see this writer/publisher marriage as one-sided — I get to do what I love: learn and write about interesting people, places and things, share my opinion with readers (some who don’t, shall we say, embrace my beliefs!), and engage with them in all sorts of places like grocery stores and volleyball games.

And in turn, MidWeek “gets” to pay me.

Despite of all these columns, writing isn’t natural. It’s an often frustrating exercise in excavation — like an archeological dig. It’s picking through the seemingly empty caverns of my brain hopeful of dislodging a small chunk of history, wisdom or witticism.

It’s been said that the best writing comes from the writer’s experience. If true, I’d say the columns about life with my children; my military experience as daughter, wife, niece and mother of servicemen; my business experience; and years of learning about the HIV-AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa and the countless orphans left in its wake have been favorites.

Writing of tragic personal experiences and the inherent lessons learned are by far the hardest.

Stories that poke fun at my own faults and foibles are the easiest.

Politics has been a longtime passion dating back to high school. My commenting on it and its players draws partisan ire, but that’s good — so long as the ire is directed at the column content, not the writer. After all, it’s the politicians who get the big bucks and affect our lives, not the lowly opinion writer.

MidWeek is a phenomenon. In a national culture of dying newspapers, MidWeek grows. It’s a winning formula that offers readers a varied mix of features that warm hearts and inform us of our surroundings and the world, and offers a vast audience to meet the needs of advertising customers.

Anniversaries can sometimes be solemn reminders of time’s passage and a face-to-face with our mortal selves.

But for MidWeek, as it celebrates an impressive 30 years in Hawaii, I predict at least 30 more.

I wonder where I’ll be.

During my time at MidWeek I’ve lost my parents, gotten married, acquired four step-children, five spouses-in-law, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Imagine what surprises the next 20 or 30 years will bring.

Congratulations to the owners, publishers, staff, contributors and customers on a 30-year success story.

It’s a marriage that lasts.

susanpagecoffee@gmail.com

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