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Chatterbox: Our 20th year


It’s official; no matter how we calculate it, our Herald is completely 20 and here at Chatterbox, we’re going to “go there.” I include myself in this family with, believe me, the greatest of humility and the most resounding joy for all who are and have been part of this undertaking as we now mark two successful decades completed.

Please indulge me as I emote. With experience, determination, sacrifice and diligence, our Herald has survived the loss of several key and beloved staff, the economic crunch of 2008, COVID, radical political changes on every level from local to national, a couple of horror shows as per the health of our national conscience, the role confusion of America’s leadership, the health of our planet, our pattern of weather, and the fair shaking up – and continuous shakedown – of America’s people at large.

Over my desk, framed by my husband 20 years ago, hangs my very first Chatterbox column which, I’m so proud to say, began running in the very first publication of the Bucks County Herald in October of 2002. I’ve spoken about it before as it remains far more prophetic than even I thought it could be, not just for our paper but for life at large.

It was titled, “Striking out.” It covered every cliché and meaning of that phrase, and is still relevant today. Then and since, we talked about taking chances, failing, succeeding, not finding one of these aspects without some other, and never achieving any without trying, daring and believing we can. We talked about carrying on after failure, how that is part of success, and changing paths when the path we’re on just doesn’t seem to be our destiny no matter how much we want it, pursue it, or did to gain it.

Life drags each and all of us everywhere. It’s imperative to remember that to achieve what we want we must: be diligent; make any changes that our experience tells us are necessary for our success, survival, or mental comfort; and even cave when we need to. It’s all good, because the only real failure is the failure to try, carry on, or adapt.

On a more personal level, and to my great joy, Chatterbox is still here too – and thrilled to be so. We have, here, over these past 20 years discussed topics literally from Aspiration to Zen and every letter in between including X. I could list them … but that would be really boring. It suffices to say that Chatterbox is sometimes harsh and reality based, sometimes soft and fluffy or encouraging and inspiring, and sometimes straight-up whimsical. We try to inform, inspire, tweak a perspective or help create a new one, and, of course, laugh. Whatever we do, we share.

The most astounding thing about our Herald itself, however, is very deep and that is what it represents as part of American strength. America still has the miracle of a free press, that great and powerful right and responsibility to provide and protect the free voice of our people. That’s the single most important right any citizen can have … freely sharing information. It’s desired, but not given, around the world. It’s no small thing and we must hold on tight to this most important privilege.

For 20 years, my business cards have quoted Thomas Jefferson, “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” With our right to a free press, Americans can make choices daily, starting with what they choose to read and continuing all the way to the voting booth. We the people get things done that, hopefully, most prudently protect our nation’s sovereignty and the largest portion of our population. We, hopefully, are all making the choices, efforts and even sacrifices necessary to make America what she’s supposed to be and what her people need in order to best protect and serve all our land, our people and the world. Without information, no one can make smart choices. A truly free press is the most accessible way to determine what those choices need to be. The information bandwidth is a double-edged sword under any government, but the lucky can’t even imagine life without it, and it includes the Herald.

For this great anniversary, we are grateful to all who made this possible: staff; supporters; and our faithful readership. To this, yes, we dare to celebrate. Stick around as we all continue to Strike Out – in the best ways possible.

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