I grew up with old school grandparents. They subscribed to our hometown newspaper called The Fresno Bee.
Every morning, I would come out of my bedroom after getting ready for school, and I'd find my grandfather already reading the paper at the kitchen table. What I always remembered the most was, he'd always have the sports page sitting there ready for me to read.
I would go through a few of the stories and then I slowly learned that my grandfather would give me enough time to formulate my opinion before asking about a certain story. Most of the time, it was on Fresno State and how they were doing in any particular season.
We would talk about the game, what they did right, what they did wrong, and the games coming up. As I told older, I realized that he wanted me to say what was on my mind, not what he wanted to hear.
I returned to my hometown for the first time since he died from cancer back in 2005. I hadn't been back in the house since his death but I knew he would not want me to change anything that he and I used to do.
So, this past Tuesday morning, I walked to the sun room in the back of the house, pulled out the sports page, and read articles from a few of my favorite writers.
I read 'Pat Hill, 'I wish I had answers' article from Bryant-Jon Anteola, 'Bulldogs football team keeps spirits high' from Daniel Lyght and 'Fresno-Chicago hoops connection broken' from Matt James. It made me thankful for how I grew up and what an amazing chance I had to read talented writers.
Not only did I get a chance to read the paper and formulate the opinions that I still have today, but I got a chance to learn how to be a writer from guys that have done it a lot longer than I have. Guys I respect and guys who have continued to push and grind even though the newspaper as we know it today isn't what it once was.
These are the guys that make me believe there is a comeback to be had. These are the guys that I look up to as far as being a writer. These are the guys that make me love being a hometown kid.
Say what you want about their opinions, say what you want about what they believe to be true, but you can't take away what they continue to do for the paper I still read every single morning. I may not read it in it's physical appearance, but I make sure I check in online to read what's new in Fresno State sports.
The newspaper may be changed, but the idea of it is not dead. Just check these guys out, and check out the guys that continue to bring content to newspapers around the country, and see how hard these guys work.
I'm not a professional, I'm still chasing the dream that they get to live every single day. It may not be glamorous, but I still respect the job these guys do.