A note from the new editor
I’ve been getting a lot of “full circle” comments recently, as in, “Hey, your life has come full circle.” That’s because, as some of you already know, I’m from Rhode Island — born at the Lying In Hospital in Providence — and I started out as a journalist. I got out of the state and journalism for a while (went into corporate public relations) and recently realized I wanted to get back to both newspapering and to Rhode Island. I know people criticize our state, but there’s no better place. And there’s no better job than being a journalist. So, yes, full circle.
I grew up in a little town called Rumford. These were the days of unsupervised outdoor play. My friends would gather every Saturday and Sunday and play baseball in the summer and football in the fall, rain or shine, and we went “sliding” in the winter. We managed, until we got older and less wise, to negotiate our own disputes for all those years without getting into too much trouble.
Even in those days I wanted to be a writer. I wrote stories in elementary school, and I started writing for my high school paper, and then the college paper, and there was always something inspiring about seeing something you’d written in print. The writer John Cheever once said that “a page of good prose is invincible.” He was talking about fiction, but I think good writing is always a joy to read, whether in a novel or a weekly newspaper. Good writing sticks with you.
I first wrote for the Pawtucket Evening Times. Beginning with my first story I felt that being a journalist carried with it a certain unique responsibility. I wanted to get things right because I didn’t want to waste the reader’s time. Bad writing is a waste of your time — I’m aware of that — because it raises more questions than it answers. The main goal of any newspaper should be to not waste your time. We’ll avoid that by providing accurate information about the community we serve. That’s our goal here at the paper.
Block Island is relatively new to me, but there are more connections to my life here than I knew about. I’ve met people that I’ve known, and my family has known, for years, so it’s not a completely unfamiliar place. Still, I’d never pretend that I know the town, so I’m going to listen a lot over the next days and weeks and months, to learn and to hear the stories and concerns of the people who live here and care about the island.
I’m so new — and arriving at the island so late in life — that I’ll probably never even qualify as a “summer year-rounder”, but I do hope to be a good neighbor, a good citizen and to treat the island with the respect it deserves through my work here at the Block Island Times.
— Lars Trodson