|Vol. 13 No. 17
AUGUST 20, 2018
by Jonathan Gramling
by Heidi M. Pascual
Columns & Features
|Robert Pierce is connecting people with
the land and jobs
by Jamala Rogers
As a matter of principle — and preference — I don’t like to write about myself directly. This is a newspaper and
by its almost very definition, it’s about everyone else, the people, things, issues and events that happen outside of
one’s own personal existence. Now I do write a very personable column, it is a vehicle to talk about things that are
much more profound than my existence on this earth.
The beauty of being a journalist is that I get to see how big the world is on a regular basis. While there are certain
tasks that are repetitive — publishing a newspaper every two weeks — every day seems to be different because I
am always interacting with the world in new and hopefully meaningful ways.
And while I am a constant in those interactions, the sheer volume of people with whom I interact or observe
reminds me of how small I am and how beautifully complex the real world out there is. My enemy is time for I
would love to almost write the life story of everyone I meet. And I live so many experiences through the eyes of
the people whom I meet.
For example, our Urban Treasure for this issue is Felix Giboney. He was shot twice by a childhood friend, which
was a profound experience to me, one that I wish not to experience myself. And while the Urban Treasure feature
is about the good things Felix is doing in the Madison area, we spent time “off-tape” discussing the impact of being
shot by someone you’ve known since childhood and the effect it has on your world view. I think Felix is a better
man than me in many ways.
I was asked by a friend if I ever thought about myself and I replied, ‘Very little,’ although I experience the world
just like everyone else. But my focus is looking outside at the world around me instead of introspectively at the
world within or through a “me” lens. When I go to a function, I am paying attention to what everyone else is doing
instead of engaging in meaningful experiences for myself.
That’s just the way that I do my work. The less of me and the more of everyone else that goes into the stories, the
better I feel about the things that I write about. It’s about everyone else. And I think that leads to a certain level of
objectivity because its impact on me is of no materiality. It’s the impact on everyone else that makes it
newsworthy. I hope that makes sense.
But today, in the 17th issue of the 13th year of The Capital City Hues, the stars have aligned for the dateline, August
20, 2018 is the 66th anniversary of my birth. That’s right, I turn 66-years-old today.
And that is quite a milestone for today I qualify for Social Security with no penalties involved. For the past 50 years
or so, I and my employers — and oftentimes I serve as both employer and employee — have been paying into the
Social Security fund. And now, today, I will begin to draw a monthly stipend from that fund, which will be tax
free. And so I want to thank all of you who are younger than me for continuing to work and paying into the Social
Security system.--READ MORE