Tonawanda News


December 9, 2012

DUVALL: Passing a milestone and looking back, then ahead

Tonawanda News — They say 30 is the new 20. Today, I hope they’re right.

I exited my third decade of life Saturday, embarking on the fourth and generally acting like I did the last time I had a birthday with a round number — surrounded by my favorite people (and vodka), carousing, laughing about funny old stories and making a few new ones.

It certainly wasn’t intentional, but I passed another milestone just the day before: I bought my first new car. OK, it’s not really new. It’s a 2009. But when you’ve never owned a car that’s less than 10 years old, the idea of glancing down at the odometer and seeing it display “30,000” and not “181,000” as my previous car did before it finally died an unfixable death, it might as well have just rolled off the assembly line.

I’m not really an age guy, but the prospect of turning 30 was, I’ll admit, a little unnerving. There’s something about being in your 20s that allows for a certain small amount of youthful transgression. Thirty just sounds so ... grown up

I have an odd relationship with age. When I meet new people I’ve learned I make an impression that leads them to think I’m older than I am. The job title plays a big part in that, I suspect. When someone asks what I do and I tell them I’m the editor of the Tonawanda News, they automatically add a decade or so. 

But journalism is increasingly a young person’s pursuit. Gone are the crusty old editors with a bottle of whiskey in the bottom desk drawer barking out orders at terrified cub reporters. Journalists today are one step removed from techies, nimbly hopping from one social media platform to another, all while attending to the good old-fashioned print product that rolls off the presses in the wee hours of the morning.

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