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Unclassified Info: Important adages too easy to forget

September 12, 2011|By Gary Huerta

A couple of weeks ago I hit a milestone — the beginning of my third year with the Glendale News Press. For those unfamiliar with the story of how I ended up here, after a 15-year career as a writer in various media, I entered and won a contest the paper held to find a columnist to cover the La Crescenta area.

It is truly an honor to write for my fellow Glendale inhabitants. And yes, I even respect most of my haters who so passionately defend their differing opinions. I have made every effort to spread the love, pointing at the role the News-Press editorial staff plays in giving me the latitude to write on a broad range of topics.

My weekly ritual begins long before my Monday morning deadline. I start ruminating over stories on the Wednesday prior. I search for topics with the following priorities in mind: how does it affect my life as a Glendale resident, a 49-year-old man, and a member of the human race searching for the meaning of life?

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By Sunday, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to write about and I start making mental notes of quips and comments I can inject into the story and the first draft is born. On Monday, I am up at 5 a.m. to rewrite and edit the draft until about 7 a.m. when I get ready for my day job.

During my commute into El Segundo I think of ways to tighten up the morning’s work. I spend anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes finalizing the draft before sending it to the editors. I’ve done this nearly every week for these last two years and have written my columns during trips to San Francisco, Utah, Dallas, New Orleans and in dozens of coffee houses in between.

I have soldiered on these last few weeks amid some personally trying times. For the most part, I’ve done my best not to bore you with any egocentric details, instead sticking to issues around Glendale.

But this morning I awoke with a desire to share something personal that has been on my mind, not as a local resident, but as a human being, like you, trying to find meaning to something bigger than the design of a parade float.

Why do I feel the need to divert away from texting drivers and misguided branding efforts? Because life has decided to get in my face and show me how fleeting one’s existence can be. Two people I knew passed away within the last few weeks. One of them, Jason, was a very close friend in high school. The other, Chloe, was the daughter of two more friends from high school.

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