The observations of Twain, an anniversary and a time gone by

Date Published: 
February 14, 2014

Every once in a while, I get the urge to write a column. Actually, it happens more than you would think, but rarely do I follow through with it. There is always a good reason… not enough time, too many interruptions and let’s not forget the main one: I am not a writer and have never claimed to be one. Senior class English teacher Martha White can most likely attest to that, even though she is one of my biggest fans and truly has inspired me so many times.

I envy Darin and our reporters at how they can turn over a story in an hour and sometimes in a matter of minutes. Of course, many times, it can take weeks of research and endless phone calls and interviews to create a story. Not my forte, either, as — if any of you really know me or work for me — you already know that patience is not a word in my vocabulary. But on this particular week, several things have been on my mind that I wanted to share.

You see, I needed to let you know that Mark Twain is alive and well — in Millville, Del., of all places. At least, he is as portrayed by the esteemed Rich Bloc, who turns into the famous writer in the one-man show “Southern Comfort,” directed by Piper Laurie. The show debuted this week and continues for the next two weekends, giving the audience a glimpse into the whit and observations of one of the most famous humorists and authors of the late 1800s.

While sitting in the audience of the sold-out house on Saturday night, I pondered how poignant Twain’s observations were, even today.

The Dickens Parlour Theatre has grown and gotten more popular over the last few years, but there are still many in the area that do not realize how fortunate we are to have live entertainment in our midst.

Last week’s paper was filled with memories and comments on the Coastal Point’s 10th anniversary. The time has gone by in a whirlwind, and it has been a labor of love, but it would not have been possible without you. You are the reason we are here… Our community, our readers and our advertisers give us the support emotionally and financially to make this paper happen week after week. We thank you, each and every one.

Last, but not least, sad news arrived on Monday morning as I was informed that Milton “Mitch” Mitchell passed away over the weekend. Few reading this will remember him, as he lived in Laurel, Del., and moved to Virginia more than a decade ago, but he was my first boss in the newspaper world. I worked for him as a young advertising rep in the early ’80s at the Delaware Coast Press and the Beachcomber.

I came into this business with absolutely no knowledge of newspapers and minimal sales experience. He was a tough boss, but he took me under his wing and taught me how to sell print, what made a good ad and — the most important part — how to produce results in advertising. He made me love this business the very first day that I stepped in the door.

You always knew where you stood with Mitch. Many times I sat in front of him, watching the red slowly moving up his neck into his cheeks, but then he would calmly start reviewing what I had done wrong or what I needed to be doing. It was OK to make a mistake, but I would be sure to never make it again.

His love of the business was infectious, and he always had little sayings like, “In this business, you work hard and you play hard.” He was competitive and driven, but at the same time a great mentor and my newspaper “father.” The man truly had ink running through his veins.