As this newsroom prepares its coverage of the Putnam County Fair (the most exhausting week of the year even when we aren't in the midst of a record-setting heat wave), I realize that just one of us in the newsroom actually covered last year's fair.
Of course, there's new (old) leadership at the editor's chair. Eric hasn't covered a fair since 2004.
The two staff writers have been here less than a year. In the case of Ben's position, it has actually turned over twice since last fair.
So everyone should welcome Michael to his very first Putnam County Fair and Ben to his first as a Banner Graphic writer.
Only Caine, the fearless leader of our sports department, was manning the ship last fair.
As for me? One year ago today, I was trying to make final preparations for a big event when I was told my wife would be going into the hospital a day or two early for the birth of our baby boy.
The record books tell me it wasn't as hot last year as it is this week, but it sure seemed like it. I wouldn't have known the difference, though. I spent the biggest part of the next three days in the bowels of Putnam County Hospital waiting, then celebrating.
What a difference a year makes. At that time, I was questioning what kind of father I would be. Now I'm the World's Greatest Dad -- I have the keychain to prove it.
My coworkers a year ago kept telling me how happy they were for me, but that I owed them big for missing the fair. I'd have to make up for it this year.
As it turns out, though, I don't owe them anything. Caine could say I owe him, but I covered a certain state championship game while he was at Disney.
I'd say we're even.
The rule still stands, though: No member of this newsroom gets fair week off unless a) She is giving birth; b) His wife is giving birth; or c) He or she has the Bubonic Plague.
Those are the rules. I didn't make them -- I just have to live with them.
See you at the fair.