1:05 AM PDT, July 31, 2012
I made a bunch of new friends this summer.
First, let me tell you about my latest friend that I made, thanks to the Internet.
· Aberdeen American News readers, I would like to introduce Gary Thomson from Clarkston, Scotland.
· Gary, the American News readers.
Gary and I met accidently. He thought he was emailing the newsroom of a newspaper in Aberdeen, Scotland, about his worldwide football (soccer to us) stadium tour.
My address popped up instead, and I got the information.
It seems that Gary just visited the Aberdeen Football Club's stadium.
Gary, a lifelong lover of soccer, started his stadium tour when he visited Wembley Stadium in 2009. I took lots of photos and a lot of people were interested in looking at them, Gary wrote to me. That then gave me the idea of taking photos at more stadiums and that was how the Football Stadium Tour was born.
The Aberdeen Football Club visit on July 13 was stadium No. 42 on his tour. Since then, he has added five more stadiums to his list.
The 34-year-old private taxi driver has travelled 5,970 miles on his 47-stadium tour.
My target for the tour is 5000 stadiums, Gary wrote. I am now treating this very seriously and I am now planning an overseas trip every five or six weeks. My next trip is to the south of England where I will be visiting about 15 clubs in the Hertfordshire area, which is North of London. I am visiting New Jersey in November to visit the New York Red Bulls Stadium. Hopefully in the future, I shall visit the rest of the Major League Soccer teams.
When will his tour end? I don't think I will ever be done. There are thousands of stadiums worldwide. The only way I will get done is if I find someone to help back me on the tour. Also some countries are going to be very difficult to visit, especially those in a current conflict.
Gary said Aberdeen (Scotland) was a great stadium to visit. The team is also known as the Reds.
The thing that stuck out about it was how red everything was, Gary wrote. The staff were really nice to me, and the interior of the stadium was fascinating. There was a really good atmosphere within the club even though there was no match or supporters.
So now American News readers, you, too, have a new friend.
You can follow Gary's tour at https://www.facebook.com/GTFootballStadiumTour and on twitter @GT_Stadium_Tour. Gary has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter.
Safe travels, my friend.
We are a small newsroom at the American News.
This summer, we ended up with four interns. Normally, we only have one or two. Sometimes none.
How did we end up with four? Not important.
What is important is the impact these four interns have had on our newsroom. I rarely remember former American News employees, not to mention interns.
I can't tell you how many blank looks I have had on my face from past co-workers and interns who have come up to start talking to me about the times she/he and I worked together at the News.
All I am saying is for me to remember someone who worked here, they would of had to make a significant impact for our readers. Do great work in the newspaper building, I remember you.
Be good, average or below ... you probably will get my blank look.
But these four interns are memorable for their:
· Enthusiasm for life.
· Passion for journalism. They all have talent for the profession and I hope they continue to pursue their dreams.
· Daily energy.
One morning as each walked in, they leaped out of their chairs and ran over and greeted each other as they made their way into the newsroom. Shouting the name of the person entering the room as they ran toward them.
On this morning, they seemed like long-lost friends who hadn't seen each other in years. I silently sat in my corner, smiling inside and out at the scene unfolding before me.
All four have worked on our Olympics project, a great idea that came from managing editor J.J. Perry. He proposed the interns interview area athletes who do sports that were being featured at the Olympics, and have the area athletes explain their sports. It has been a great series for us so far.
Let me introduce our interns:
Natalia Rawls: From Perry, Ga., she just graduated from Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Ga., with a degree in mass communications.
Alison Dirr: From Minneapolis, she is entering her senior year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she is majoring in journalism and political science. Alison will be with us through the Brown County Fair.
Racquel Bethea: From Durham, N.C., she will be a junior at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., where she is majoring in journalism and media studies.
Cara Ball: From Westland, Mich., she is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Cara has been working with the sports department on the Northern State football history project that will debut before Gypsy Day 2012.
This week, we lose three of the interns. It makes me a little sad.
I won't miss all their questions, but I will miss the energy, passion and enthusiasm they provided me and the rest of this newsroom.
These are four co-workers who I will never forget.
John Papendick is the managing news-sports editor for the American News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.