“-30-” is the way we old-school journalists used to let our editors know we were at the end of our story. We wrote our stories on these curious devices known as “typewriters.”
They were pretty neat. I never knew one to crash or lock up. They never stopped working while a spinning wheel appeared in front of my eyes. Each typewriter had its own printer. Some of them even ran without electricity. Nothing to plug in; no battery to charge.
You’d finish the story, pull it out of the typewriter and scrawl “-30-” on the bottom before handing it to the editor, who had the satisfaction of marking it with a thick, black pencil.
Editors were a lot happier in those days, I think.
So I headed this post with “-30-” because it’s the end of the Wannabe Birder.
The decision, entirely my own, comes with mixed feelings. If it had just been me writing my thoughts and observations about birds, there would be no such mixed feelings. Frankly, if it had just been that, I would have gotten bored with this blog a long time ago.
But the delightful comments and stories and wonderful pictures that came from all over made this blog a joy to produce.
One such contribution arrived in the mail just yesterday:
This portrait of a chickadee was taken by Lynn Laveau Lund through her kitchen window in Cloquet. “I’m glad it was clean!” Lynn wrote about that window.
Lynn’s picture was the first I can recall coming in the real mail instead of via email.
We got lots of real mail when we used typewriters.
But back to closing the blog: When I started writing it five-something years ago, my job responsibilities at the Duluth News Tribune were much different than they are now.
My reporting gig has made it increasingly difficult to find time for the blog. That has been all the more true as I’ve focused more and more of my attention on covering health, a topic that just seems to keep getting bigger.
In fact, as I’ve reported on health I’ve come across all sorts of things that would be ideal for a blog. So if you have any interest in health-related subjects, please join me on my new health news blog, which will be launching on Area Voices soon.
One detail that hasn’t been worked out is the name, but it definitely won’t be called the Wannabe Doctor.
We’re not totally killing the birder blog, and I’m told this post and all that preceded it will remain on the Internet for, you know, a long time.
Thank you for reading and thanks, especially, to those who contributed and made this a lot of fun.