Welcome to my Metropolis: The bustling city of Stroudsburg, PA… the epicenter, the “command center” (if you will) of the Poconos. Where the plans for a new resort are presented, where the judges decide your fate, where all things “Pocono” are first presented before a committee, where the news reports it all…
The town I left NYC for. I lovingly refer to Stroudsburg as “The city that goes to bed at a reasonable hour.” :0)
My job is to present the news online to 60,000 people a day. What goes on the front page is my call. In lieu of the Three part AP series “The man without a face”, I opt to feature Dr. Kirit Kothari and his work.
It’s politics mostly. Dr. Kothari is a big advertiser at the Pocono Record. He’s the sponsor of our Pocono Weekend site, and I had the pleasure of finishing his Pain Management site last month. He takes care of us, we take care of him. Simple.
It’s “race weekend” here in the Poconos. Despite my personal feelings toward Jeff Gordon, I still put him in as Top Local Sports. Gotta be objective in the news biz. :0)
Since Thursday, the front page was covered with the tragic death of Dominick Lockwood. Struck down while crossing the street, three blocks from me. An area where two men were sprayed with bullets from an uzi a few weeks ago.
The story of Lockwood’s death was touching. The photo featured the motorist breaking down and crying, clutching a parking meter… seeking solace and forgiveness from the cold metal object.
He was a prominent man here in the Poconos. A lawyer, a developer… truth be told, the first time I ever saw the words “beloved” and “landlord” used in the same sentence. The sad countenance of the newsroom all this week let me to believe that all of today’s columns and editorials would be about him. What a great guy he was… yadda, yadda, yadda.
Truth be told, I never understood why it was such a “big deal”. It was sad. It was tragic. But was it front page news for three days? While I am slowly growing in power, and meeting the key players here in the Poconos…
Still, I eshew the conventional, if I can help it.
I gravitate toward the quirky and offbeat.
*They* make life interesting.
My mind travels back to certain lunch hours, where I’d trek down to the A-Plus convenience store (former place of employment of Carole & Melissa.). I think of this funny-looking little man, with wild hair & a bow tie. Truth be told, he looked like he wandered out of a time machine from the late 1800’s.
The girls behind the counters giggled, as he tied the line up with one of his anecdotes, or his stories. He made people smile though.
He fascinated me.
Once upon a time I loved meeting the colourful characters that put that extra “zing” in life. I spent lunch hours as a messenger in NYC buying a homeless person something to eat, and sitting with them for a while. To get inside their minds, see life though their eyes, to absorb a little bit of their psyche and keep it within me forever…
But that was then. Now… I’m nothing more than a broken and bitter warrior who posted a “No Vacancy” sign over my heart. No one was getting in. Not even the wierd little guy that I couldn’t stop staring at.
… and don’t think he didn’t try. :0)
We came to an understanding that he could say “hi” and make me smile when he saw me… and that was it.Today, it seemed my world and Stroudsburg’s collided. As I assembled the touching stories, and the fond memories, and the obituaries for today’s edition…
It turns out, I knew Dominick Anthony Lockwood all along. He was that strange, charasmatic character that tried to make me smile at A-Plus the whole time.
All the missed opportunities, the chance to be stimulated by such a brilliant mind. Gone, because I wont let anyone in anymore.
Few men will leave the legacy that he did in the Poconos.
His friends are all at the funeral today to say goodbye. The powerful and elite, the man that didn’t mean to kill him, the people that he made smile on the streets. But rather than mourn his death… they will celebrate his life.
… because sometimes life is about living.
… siezing the day.
And making people smile.