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Chatterbox: Closing the box


When I wrote my very first column for the first issue ever of the Bucks County Herald, I could never have believed it would last over two decades.

The column was titled, “Striking Out”; it was 2002, George W. Bush was president, no one had even heard of Justin Bieber, a half gallon of ice cream was still 4 pints, and I had no grandchildren (my two oldest are now in college!). It has been a long, happy, enriching, and educational road along which my Chattereaders and I have evolved a lot. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Chattereaders are a unique brand of people. We’ve agreed and disagreed, groaned, laughed, raised our eyebrows and dropped our jaws together, but we’re still here. As much as Chatterbox topics were varied, so are Chattereaders. We come in every bend of mind, but we stayed and enjoyed the fun and, sometimes, faced the fire. It never mattered. My favorite analogy has always been The Who, from “Horton Hears a Who.” They continue to shout, “We are here. We are here.” And, indeed, so are we.

With Chatterbox topics going from global to personal and from sheer fun to the wolf at our nation’s door, here, we were open to new thoughts and good laughs. Here, we remained dedicated to “the read.” Here, we shared much that joined us together and much that created a stir, but we remained steadfast and, the best thing we always did was think. Here, we literally discussed topics from A – Z ... literally, including X and Z (I won’t list them). Chattereaders have learned who I am, where I stand and why, learned about my roots, my family, hobbies, pet peeves, and personality and have shared who they as well.

My columns are like my kids, each one special in a particular way. There was my personal favorite (yes, I know we’re not supposed to have favorites) “An interview with Mother Nature.” It raised awareness about the decline of our planet’s health in a very unique way, but we’ve talked about all things from the “Granny Nannies” to “Much ado about too much too soon,” grand-parenting across the miles, and the changes in child-rearing, financial responsibilities, lighting up, like Tinkerbell ... and music, music, music, and its importance in every school curriculum along with all the arts. We talked bugs, birds, weather, hurting, healing and politics.

We presented much truth trying to show both sides, and find middle ground and solutions while still facing the changing political climate with American strength. We’ve all faced personal challenges and walked together. We endured the crash of ’08, and we sought solutions, sensibility, strength, and gave each other encouragement and support through the fear and confinement of Covid.

Through the years, and these same challenges, our paper, under the Herald banner, also, has evolved, grown, and been here for our community. The Herald is more than an award-winning newspaper; it’s a viable member of the Bucks County community. Since Volume 1, Number 1, Chatterbox has been proud to be part of that grand history, and that history grows.

Still, there is always evolution. Here, in what is the final column for Chatterbox, I wish to thank the Herald and its staff, and, of course, I wish to thank my readers. They, who asked me to speak to their groups, stopped me in stores to chat, or sent notes, letters, and even gifts, to my home and through the paper’s offices, and who remained with me, via the Herald, over the years. Thank you.

There’s always more to share, but we’ve been blessed to share this long road. In nearly 22 years, everyone sees things differently, and everything is different. We’ve all changed; we’ve grown up, grown older, hopefully wiser, and more just and prudent, and our lives have changed as well. To carry on smartly, we must continue to change too. For Chatterbox, it’s just time to close the box.

For the future, I wish everyone well, give my gratitude to the Herald staff and cannot thank you – the readers – enough, for: 21 and 1/2 years of being here, weekly; for sharing; for giving me friendship; and for allowing me to give you mine. Many, many thanks for these decades together.

May we all fare well and remain diligent in our quest for the best for each other and for our nation, where no freedom can be specific.

Thank you. Signing off,

Camille Granito Mancuso aka “Chatterbox”

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