Thursday, June 26, 2014
Good times on the coast
It was “on the road again” for the Burlesons a few days last week – starting with a basketball camp and ending with a convention.
As I’ve said before, Pam and I feel as if we’re starting over with the “chasing our children around” thing.
I tell some, “I’m too old for this.”
Then, if I’m feeling really good, I say, “This is going to keep me young.”
And then there’s the even more familiar response, “I will perhaps be able to retire when I’m 70.”
Either way, I wouldn’t take anything in the world for the time we’ve spent and will be spending with our children.
Emma (in Arlington, Texas) turned 23 Sunday. Andy (in Hattiesburg) had his 20th birthday on May 19. Then there’s Erin, our seventh grader at home, who is ready to take us on another junior high and high school experience.
Last week she went to her first-ever Madison Ridgeland Academy Team Camp with the rest of the Lady Patriots from Marshall Academy.
As it worked out, our newspaper convention was at the end of the week – Thursday evening through Saturday on the Mississippi coast – with the camp wrapping up on Thursday at noon.
Pam and I left Wednesday in time to see a few basketball games, spend the night at the team hotel and then watch more basketball Thursday.
Summer basketball is important to the players and the coaches as they look to the next season. It’s an opportunity for everybody to get some playing time and mature on the court.
Just about all the teams in the county are playing this summer, with most of it wrapping up this week. Then they’ll take a month off before school starts back in early August.
After stopping in Hattiesburg to have lunch with Andy and his girlfriend Phoenix, we arrived in Biloxi late Thursday afternoon, in time for a joint press convention with Mississippi and Louisiana newspapers participating. It was held at the IP.
I’ve been working at Mississippi newspapers for 28 years, and I think I’ve missed only three or four summer conventions.
Not only is it a great learning experience, thanks to the various educational sessions, but it’s a wonderful time to see old friends and meet new ones. The best thing for me has always been networking and learning from other newspaper folks.
Sessions include – “The Freedom Summer: 50 Years Later,” with veteran Mississippi journalists W.C. Shoemaker and Charles Dunagin and “Changing Your Perspective” presented by photojournalist Larry McCormick with The Tennessean in Nashville, Tenn.
Saturday, I had the pleasure of introducing new friend Chris Rhoades with Enterprise Publishing in Nebraska. He visited Holly Springs recently and made presentations on social media and niche products at the convention.
We also have lots of good food and lots of fun during the three-day event. Going to the Gulf Coast always means seafood time for yours truly. This trip I enjoyed everything from shrimp tacos, to mahi mahi, to oysters on the half shell and tuna, too. On the ride home Sunday, I was ready for a hamburger.
The MPA network of friends is an important part of my life. They’re good folks – the best.
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