With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time for an annual tradition we have here at the Talk properties: asking our writers to look back over the year and to choose their favorite stories. Our writers live, work and play in the LewisTalk community so have great perspective on what you most love to read about. Here are their picks for the year.
Thank you to all of our writers, and thank you to all of our readers as well for being a part of LewisTalk this year!
D. Frank DeLong
One of my favorite stories is my own on radio talk show host John Panesko. I had at least two readers who told me how interesting it was that he started his show for free. That is truly old school. And yes, both readers who commented were in the their 50s.
Getting a chance to share stories about the three Sandrini sisters on Adna’s fastpitch team was special. Jessika and Jordan were coaches, lured by the small town closeness and the chance to coach their sister. Josey Sandrini was their starting first baseman. “We had to be there,” Jessika said. I also enjoyed writing a story about Napavine’s Wyatt Stanley and Sam Fagerness, two all-league football players with the grades. Also, sharing 95-year-old Leonard Krause’s story about competing in the Senior Games was special.
Jessica McKay is the epitome of the team-first mentality. She was one of the state’s best high school fastpitch players, heading to Boise State on a full-ride, and had her senior year taken away due to an injury suffered in basketball. When they played Tumwater and trailed late, it was Jessica who provided the inspirational speech that led the Bearcats to a victory. Every time I saw WF West play, she was in the dugout smiling and cheering teammates on.
I greatly enjoyed writing about the Dodge Challenger Hellcat at I-5 Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Chehalis. My automobile knowledge is limited to attending the occasional classic car show and iconic chase scenes from movies, but I was able to learn about this new make and model through talking with three sales managers who explained all of its features and technological advances in non-gearhead terms.
My pick is Growing up with the Nutcracker Ballet. There is something thrilling about starting on a new adventure and I think this article will always have a special place in my heart for being my first published article. But beyond that, it was a delight to work with Southwest Washington Dance Center, to interview such a talented young person and to experience her enthusiasm first hand.
So hard to choose! But, I decided on the story about Bobbie Moran, who knits hats for the homeless, because it’s a good lesson on how anyone can use what talents were giving to them to make a difference. So many of us never do anything because we always think “it’s just me.” This story proves not only how one person can make a difference, but how one person can grow into many helping others.
When I talked to Bob Holland of Centralia General Agencies about his service work in the community, (Bob Holland Shows How to Become a Community Servant) I met him at the Health and Hope Medical Outreach located at Northwest Pediatric Center so that I could take some pictures of him. I had a few minutes to get to know the director, Mickey Lofgren, who is one of the most delightful people you will ever meet. I walked away with the feeling that I had been led there, and I knew that I had to get involved as well. So I did and I am now the Volunteer Coordinator and I love to spread the word about the amazing volunteer staff who selflessly serve at this free clinic that is so vital to the community.