Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No, John, Thank You

Couple of weeks ago I won an award from the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It's my second first-place award with them, and it's a nice one because contestants come from all over Texas and Oklahoma. This morning, the Chapter's director, John Dycus, wrote a note to all the winners letting us know that he was proud of all of us and apologizing for not getting his note out earlier. I realized I'd never written him to say what something like an award from the SPJ might mean to some of us. So I wrote him this note. Little things sometimes mean a lot.

John: I just want to thank you for the effort you make to give us reporters a chance to feel good about our work. I appreciate more than you know. For 15 years or so I toiled at High Times magazine--senior, exec and ed in chief--working the hard news end of the drug war. The work was good, it was important, and we were the source of nearly every major national drug war story from the late 1980s through most of the 1990s. But while Peter Jensen's people and the Atlantic Monthly and the New Yorker all came to us for info, background, sources, no one ever mentioned us publicly.
None of that mattered, except to my kids, who always wondered why I didn't have any awards if my work was so good.
We moved to Texas in 2002 and I started writing for the Fort Worth Weekly in 2004. My first award came from the SPJ in 2006. I was at the dinner with my daughter, Madeleina. When I was called up to accept a first prize she ran off to a corner of the restaurant and jumped up and down shouting "We won! We Won!" to the window and the city below.
I've won several awards since, including one with SPJ again this year.
My daughter is a couple of years older now--my sons are too old to make a fuss--but she still jumped up and down when I brought the award home. "It never gets old being a winner!" she shouted over and over.
So just so you know, I appreciate your efforts on our behalf.

1 comment:

23 said...

Good for you! A little validation can go a long way!