Tonawanda News


December 9, 2012

DUVALL: Passing a milestone and looking back, then ahead


Tonawanda News — All the gray hair I’ve gotten since I took this job now more than five years ago doesn’t help in the youthful appearance department either. Friends have asked why I don’t dye it. I tell them the honest truth: I’m too lazy. But there’s also some truth to the fact that the gray hair is a badge of honor of sorts. Each one was gotten on a tough news day or a long night hunched over a desk covered in empty Chinese food containers and 11-by-17-inch page proofs trying in vain to prevent every last mistake made through the course of the day from reaching your doorstep. And let it be said for the record, there are many nights where that’s a stressful proposition.

My uncle joked during a family get-together to celebrate Hanukkah and my 30th, “You don’t look a day over 40.” We all laughed, me because I know he’s partly right. (I’d have said 35, but I’m not the one making the joke so I don’t get to pick.)

So here I sit, writing my umteen-millionth column, trying your patience and hopefully saying something you’ll find interesting or worth repeating, reflecting on the last decade, the last five years at the News and pondering what the next decade will hold. I do a young man’s job with the same passion as the day I started, a point of pride when I see so many others burning out and running for the hills to an easier 9-to-5 PR gig that isn’t nearly as much fun or rewarding, but pays better and makes life a lot easier.

They can have their jobs and I hope they enjoy the freedom that comes from working at a place where the problems stay in the office, there aren’t midnight phone calls and a deadline looms never more than 24 hours away. 

I’m 30 and 30 isn’t that old. And besides, age is just a number. Or at least that’s what people who just turned 30 tell themselves.

Either way, I don’t feel a day over 29.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. His column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Contact him at

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