Friday, May 25, 2012
By ERIC HAMILTON
I don’t get out much.
My typical work day begins with a short walk from my car into the building and ends nine hours later with a trip back to my vehicle. Most of the time between is spent chained to my desk sifting through email, making story assignments, editing stories and other such newspaper tasks.
While I like all of those things, I sometimes find myself getting stir crazy and want to go somewhere. Anywhere. But because of staffing and work to do in the office, I rarely have an opportunity to get out to events going on in the communities Neighbors covers.
There was one day in October 2010 when I was asked to help judge a pumpkin carving contest at Lynn Kirk Elementary in Austintown. That was fun. There were a lot of cool pumpkins, including a few that had real beef and cheese and looked like a giant cheeseburger.
I’ve attended one or two Canfield Rotary meetings and went to a meeting in Boardman when it first started its community pride group. I also took my family to a live nativity at Disciples Christian Church in Boardman last year.
I’ve also gone to several wrestling tournaments during my time as Neighbors Editor. It gave me an opportunity to visit with some old friends who I got to know while covering the wrestling beat for the Vindy sports department as a correspondent for about 10 years.
Besides that, I’ve been desk-ridden for the most part. But I’d like to change. In fact, I started last week.
I was one of many media who received an invite from Tony Paglia at the Youngstown-Warren Chamber of Commerce to attend the “Football Friday with the Cleveland Browns” event at the Maronite Center in Austintown. It was a chance to listen to Coach Pat Shurmur and the voice of the Browns, Jim Donovan, talk about the team. And it was a free lunch. So I went.
It was nice to be out and about meeting some folks in the Valley business community. I also had the opportunity to talk with John Greco, the Boardman native who plays for the Browns as an offensive lineman. It was nice to see Elliott Giles, the former YSU player who now runs the Youngstown Youth Flag Football Association.
After the meal and presentation by Shurmur, Donovan and Greco, I was able to meet Donovan and two former Browns — Doug Dieken and Kevin Mack. Fun stuff.
It turned out to be a great opportunity to get out of the office and into the community. I’d love to do more and more of it in the future. So, keep me in mind if there’s an empty chair at your school or community event. I won’t eat much — I promise.