by Ken Lass, Tribune columnist
Welcome to my column. Allow me to reintroduce myself. After forty-three years in the media business, thirty-one of them as a TV news and sports anchor in Birmingham, I retired in 2016. It didn’t take long for my wife Sharon to grow tired of me walking around the house, pointing out spider webs for her to sweep out.
I tried going to the gym to work out, but it was too embarrassing watching women, following behind me on the machines, adjusting to heavier resistance. Volunteer work was fulfilling, once I recovered from the shock of realizing the world does not revolve around me. I had to stop watching daytime television because the lawyer commercials were driving me crazy. It got to the point where I wished I actually had been injured in a car wreck, just so I didn’t have to watch any more ads. I tried getting active on social media. Turns out I’m the only person in the world that does not spend every day taking exotic vacations, eating at upscale restaurants, and raising perfect children. Who can compete with that?
One day, a friend asked me if I had ever blogged. I replied, not since the last time I had a touch of food poisoning. Whereupon he patiently explained to me what blogging actually was, and I decided to give it a try. That turned out to be the beginning of what has developed into a bit of a second act for me. I now write articles for various publications and websites, both national and regional.
But I long to use my new passion to connect more personally with the community I have lived in since 1989. We raised our family in Trussville, and have watched it grow from a sleepy little bedroom town, to the state-of-the-art, bustling, traffic-clogged city it is today. When we got here, there was one, count it, one, stoplight in town. It was at the corner of Main Street and Chalkville Road. The Pinnacle Mall was a golf driving range, and I bought my lawn mower at Herb’s Hardware. The sentimentality of memories past, and the excited anticipation of what is to come, makes this area an evermore enticing place to live.
So I approached publisher Scott Buttram about the possibility of contributing to the Tribune. He said yes, which was a great relief, as my eyes were getting really red and sore from all that crying and begging in his office.
I will try very hard to make reading this column worth a few minutes of your time. The content will be, at times, serious and poignant, at other times light and whimsical, with frequent, often unsuccessful, attempts at humor. So I hope you will enjoy coming to this space twice a month in the Tribune. But if you don’t, please don’t tell Mr. Buttram.
I’ve only got so much crying and begging left in me.
(Ken Lass is a retired former Birmingham television news and sports anchor, and Trussville resident since 1989. You can read more from Ken at kenlassblog.net)