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Perspective: Clearing The Clutter

Lonny Cain

I am beginning to realize something.

That ... in the end, you find yourself throwing away the beginning. I am going through boxes that were stored and hidden for a long time. They each face a jury of one. Me.

And they are guilty of no longer being needed.

Lonny Cain

As I explore each box, though, so much rushes back. I found scrapbooks and notebooks thick with newspaper clips. All dutifully dated. The start of my journalism career.

But those clips also were trophies. Seeing your name in print ... that byline ... that never gets old.

Until it is. When the clips you are looking at date to the '60s and '70s. But they still feel like trophies ... part of me ... the tracks I've left behind.

The summer of 1968 I interned for a weekly paper in Sycamore in DeKalb County. I transcribed 23 tiny historical space fillers that summer. I know this because they are in a scrapbook. Like little badges of honor, I saved "stubs" from 31 parking tickets.

I learned journalism can be fun ... besides important. And the people I worked with were part of a tribe ...  and I belonged.

Now I am unpacking that past to see if it fits in the present. That's the mission. To clear out clutter. So someday others won't inherit the painful task.

It's hard to call it clutter. It's hard to toss away those beginnings ... and watch my tracks fade away. But here I am, stacking paper for recycle. And finding it hard to resist the pull of the past. And the secret desire to be there.

And do it all again.

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.

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