October 19, 2009

Golf Lesson

Filed under: Atlanta,Family,Uncategorized — schroder @ 7:54 pm

I played golf today in a client’s foundation golf tournament and shot pretty well. After people see me drive the ball far down the fairway, they inevitably ask me how often I play. The answer is, not much, perhaps five to 10 times a year. Not that I don’t love the game, I do. In fact, if I had to cherry-pick my dream career and start all over again, being a touring golf pro would be hard to beat. My problem is time: Running my own company keeps me glued to my computer and phone. That, and I don’t belong to a club.

Golf lesson

Chris David, right, squaring my shoulders at High Hampton Inn golf lesson.

I did, however, get a golf lesson last year that was the best ever. I’ve probably had four or five lessons in my life. I still have notes the pro wrote from one in high school and I have the videotape from an afternoon I spent at a Hilton Head vacation golf session. So when I accompanied my wife on a travel writers trip to the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, NC, I was eager to learn that I could take a free golf lesson, even though I was a tagalong.

I had nearly two hours with High Hampton’s golf pro, Chris David. He not only explained what I need to do to improve my swing, he also explained the whys – the philosophy behind the golf swing. Suddenly it made so much more sense to me. In fact, Chris’ analysis of my golf swing rang a familiar bell. My approach to golf is apparently similar to the same critique other professionals have made of other parts of my life: my dancing, my public speaking and my opening up in intimate relationships. In all of them, counselors or instructors have told me I hold back, that I need to loosen up, put more of me into what I’m doing.

Ah, the lessons you learn later in life … If only I had taken these lessons to heart earlier.

While I only played golf twice during the summer, I did get to play golf two days this week – both games had been postponed by the September floods in Atlanta brought on by weeks of rain. The other time I played with my brothers, Jack and Mike, and my nephew John Waddy.

Picture for CS

Nephew John Waddy, with brother Jack, me and brother Mike.

But my favorite golf memory is when Jan and I visited my son Thomas in Scotland, when he was enjoying a semester abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thanks to Jan’s travel writer connections, we were able to stay in the Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, overlooking the Old Course, of course. While we didn’t call in time to get a tee time on that course, we did get to play the adjacent Duke’s course.

We were treated to an array of Scottish weather: sun, clouds, rain and wind. What would Scottish golf be without it? Thomas and I did get to pose on the famous bridge on the Old Course’s 18th hole. On Sundays, the course is closed and is open to the public to walk around at will. For such a storied tradition, I was surprised but happy to learn that the famous course is, after all, a public park – and on Sundays, everyone can walk it as if they were Bobby Jones or Tiger Woods.

I’m still not that great at golf. When I get to the greens I inevitably have an errant chip or a three-putt, but my approaches in the fairway are much more impressive now. And now I do try to throw myself all the way into it. Dancing, eh, that’s still is another thing. Maybe Chris can help me with that, too!

St. Andrews

On the course at St. Andrews with my son, Thomas, right.

May 28, 2009

My Days Are Numbered

Filed under: Atlanta,Media,Public Relations,Uncategorized — schroder @ 1:30 pm

In 1982, when I worked for the newspapers in Greenville, SC, I not only labored in the newsroom — writing, editing and designing the pages of the daily papers — I also walked the streets of my neighborhood just a few hundred yards north of downtown on North Main Street, delivering the paper to readers’ front steps.

As I carefully dropped the paper at my customers’ front doors, I remember being puzzled by the few neighbors — and there were only very few — who did not subscribe to either the morning or afternoon paper. I would drop off a sample copy with a handwritten note, asking if I could start delivering them a daily paper. I was usually successful in my sales effort, though there were a few intransigent ones.

These days, I walk out my front door and grab three newspapers delivered at 6am to my front yard: the AJC, the Wall Street Journal and, on weekends, the New York Times. Each morning, I remember that I am participating in a dying ritual, and it saddens me.

My days are numbered. As I watch our deliveryman drive down the street, I am amazed by how few — and there are only a very few — yards into which he tosses a paper or two. Sometimes I even feel responsible, as if I’m letting a 250-year-old American tradition die on my watch.

kindle

It’s not for lack of trying. I worked at six different daily newspapers in the South (including my hometown AJC) before starting my own monthly newspaper group in Intown Atlanta in 1994. But each day I read of yet another daily newspaper closing its doors. In fact, at least 120 newspapers in the U.S. have shut down since January 2008, according to Paper Cuts, a Web site tracking the newspaper industry. More than 21,000 jobs at 67 newspapers have been eliminated in that time, according to the site. These stats hit dangerously close to home. My prediction is that my AJC won’t be delivered to my home on Mondays and Tuesdays by the end of this year. Their business model is that fragile.

There are exceptions, thankfully. The Wall Street Journal showed a fraction of an increase in circulation last year. Locally, the weekly Atlanta Business Chronicleincreased its circulation last year by three percent — following other years of similar or larger gains. We maintain several subscriptions, to our office and our homes.

The Chronicle started the month after I graduated from college and for more than 20 of its years, the team of Publisher Ed Baker and Editor David Allison has delivered a well-respected paper, tightly focused on Atlanta’s business community. In addition to their print edition, they deliver a daily 3pm news alert via email, make their print edition available online to wacky folks such as me who download it as early as 5am Fridays.

In a sign of the times, the AJC’s well-respected business columnist Maria Saporta took a buyout from the daily paper and joined the ABC staff last year, where her years of institutional Atlanta knowledge will be a significant asset.

Maria is not content to write for the ABC alone. Schroder PR proudly designed and maintains her independent website, SaportaReport.com, which I predict will be one of the top 10 destinations to get local news and perspective in the coming decade of journalism’s evolution to the web.

saportareport

Our PR firm has evolved too. Nearly half of our revenue comes from writing and designing websites, producing videos, delivering eNewsletters for our clients and increasingly entering into the social media space.

I already have a laptop and an iPhone. I imagine this summer, I’ll give in and buy the new Kindle DX, a hand-held digital reader with a nearly-10-inch screen to which you can download books and hundreds of newspapers.

You may find me still sipping coffee on my front screen porch, reading the morning “paper” on my Kindle. I will be as well informed, but I won’t be as happy. For I will miss the sound of the morning papers hitting my sidewalk and the hours I now enjoy each day, turning their pages. I’ll miss the smell of newsprint and ink that has seeped deeply into my blood, on whose behalf I have sweated for decades and for which I will shed tears of sorrow to see them disappear.

February 8, 2009

Wallet and keys

Filed under: Atlanta,Family,Life Stories,Media — schroder @ 7:11 pm

Today, the weather was so nice and warm that Jan and I decided to take a long walk around the neighborhood with our dog, Riley. At the last moment, we decided to take in one more block of homes at the end of our street. As we turned the corner, we ran into Clark Gore, whom I’ve know for several years as he worked once for a client of mine in the commercial real estate industry – he’s currently leading the newly merged office of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Clark Gore

Clark Gore

“I was just catching up on some reading today and read about your wallet and keys,” Clark said, referring to the January 1, 2009 edition of the AJC, in which I submitted a New Year’s resolution for the Peach Buzz column. I had to laugh, I’ve had so many people comment on that little one sentence item.

Rich Eldredge of the AJC writes a near-daily column called Peach Buzz that is one of the most read items in the paper. In fact, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn told Rich it’s the first thing they read every day. Or so Rich says. Each year, he asks for readers to send in their resolutions and then he publishes it on January 1. Most of them are really serious or spiritual, as they should be. I figured he needed a little comic relief.

It wasn’t just my imagination. A couple days after Christmas, I spent a day and a half looking for my wallet and keys. I actually drove to work without my license one day, which I never do. I had looked everywhere … at the office, in my closet, under the sofa, in my mail, coats, pants, briefcase, car … everywhere, two and three times. Even Jan joined in the search for a couple of frustrating hours. Nothing!
 

My wallet and keys, in case you find them.

So I was faced with that age-old dilemma: cancel all my credit cards or hope that nobody else finds my wallet before I do. I kept checking my credit cards online … things appeared dormant.

Finally, after retracing my steps again, I remembered that I had them last in some pants and went through them again … and they weren’t there. Then I looked below in my closet … only shoes. But wait, there was something shiny there. Voila! Seems they had fallen out and right into my shoes, a pair I didn’t look in earlier!

So when I read Rich’s request for resolutions, I emailed him mine: “I resolve to spend less time in 2009 looking for my wallet and keys.” I didn’t tell Jan I submitted it … I only showed her when it published, knowing she had suffered with me. It stood out among the longer,  weightier resolutions.

Since that day I have done better. I try to put them in my mail slot at home when I arrive … a place where my mail piles up, ashamedly. A few days later, I saw my classmate Eric Bleke at our high school reunion planning meeting and he said he read my comments and laughed.

“Do you have that problem,” I asked, searching for kinship.

“Oh no,” he said. “That was one thing my dad drilled into me as a kid … ‘Everything has its place!’ So I always put them in the same place every day.”

My son emailed me earlier today, saying he saw the item when a google search delivered it to his computer. Others have mentioned it to me in the past few weeks.What a life that column has, post-publishing.

Thankfully, Clark said he suffered from the same malady and has spent a lot of time in his life looking for his wallet and keys. I told him I had done a lot better here in 2009, but I have a whole year to mess up again. Here’s to keeping this resolution!

November 19, 2008

Birthday Cards

Filed under: Family,Life Stories — schroder @ 11:17 pm

I usually plan a low-key birthday. Two years ago today, I drifted in my office on my 50th birthday and no one – thankfully – remembered or noticed. I escaped all the black balloons and crepe paper. This year, my staff posted birthdays on the office calendar, so there was no escaping it. So Jan and I scheduled pizza and a cake in the office – deliberately low key. I received all the normal calls from my siblings and mom and kids and closest friends, which is what I really look forward to. 

Tonight, coincidentally, was a busy night for scheduled events. Many nights, nothing is on the calendar. Some nights, we get invites to a number of business or social events. Tonight, we were invited to four or five business events and/or restaurant openings, so we postposed any evening birthday dinner to this weekend, when my kids, Sally and Thomas, (both who have jobs for more than a year – yea!), will be in town. 

But after I parked the car and headed inside tonight, I decided to check the mailbox one last time. There was a handmade card waiting for me. It was a “cover” card of two James Taylor albums with my face transposed on JT’s – continuing the great scam I enjoy of being his lookalike. This card goes in my birthday card hall of fame for creativity. I showed it around all week. 

I have several folks to thank: Jae Stephenson Robbins, who is a friend and neighbor and owns a marketing firm with which we collaborate, called Resource Real Estate. Seems a young staff member there, Jessica Younglove, who interned with us a couple of summers ago, found out from her boyfriend, Reid, who happens to be on our staff, that today was my birthday. Jae later told me that Jessica went to her and teammate Leslie Wright and said, “We should do something.” They let Jessica do the rest, except for Jae, who smuggled it to our mailbox while we were out. 

Okay, marking my birthday is not such a painful thing. Particularly when people have such a good time celebrating it with me. Thanks, all!

November 17, 2008

Mississippi moment, exactly 30 years later

I walked around the Buckhead bar at one of the many trade group networking meetings I attend, this one with SMPS. I walked up to a group of one man and several women I didn’t know, but they were laughing, a good sign. As I shook hands with the man, I could feel my hand being nearly crushed. 

“Where did you learn to shake hands like that?” I asked him.

“From squeezing cow teats in Mississippi,” he said to the delight of the women who knew him.

“Mississippi,” I asked. “Where?”

“I’m sure you’ve never been there or heard of it,” he said. “A small town named Okolona.”

I knew this was going to be good. “I’ve been to Okolona,” I said. “Just south of Tupelo, where Elvis was born.”

“What were you there for?”

“I went there on my first day as a reporter, right out of college. I went to cover a march by the Ku Klux Klan, which was marching against some group … the United League or something. It was a crazy first day as a reporter. I remember Geraldo Rivera of ABC’s 20/20 flew in on a helicopter to film the whole thing.” 

“I was there,” he said. 

“We went first to hang out in the yard of one of the local residents who was organizing the march,” I said. “I remember they had a big barbecue before they went off to start the march and to face the Klan. It was kind of tense.”

“I was there too,” he said.

His name is Melvin Buchanan and that same weekend when I was a wide-eyed 21-year-old reporter for the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville, Mississippi, Melvin was a wide-eyed 17-year-old just getting started in the civil rights movement. We agreed to have lunch soon.

The morning Melvin was to come to my office, I went to the garage and opened up an old trunk full of junk I have saved – much to the chagrin of my family. It’s not just the trunk. I have many of the newspapers for which I wrote front page stories in boxes piled up to the rafters. One time I was having lunch with Ga. Court of Appeals Judge Jack Ruffin, about whom I had written one of my more interesting profiles as a reporter for the Augusta Chronicle when he was a controversial civil rights attorney there. I had made the same trek to the garage that morning and found a copy of the full-page spread. The judge was very pleased to see it 25 years later.

I was telling my staff at our “huddle” that morning about Melvin coming to join me for lunch that day. I told them how I had met him and how he was there for the Ku Klux Klan march and how he was coming in to our office in a few minutes and that I would introduce him. I noticed Devin, our employee who happens to be African-American, getting nervous. Her eyebrows went up and she looked across the table at her office-mate, Amber. I realized I had left out one important detail: Melvin was black and he was marching against the Klan. Everyone broke out in nervous laughter.

I surprised Melvin when he walked in, pulling out the August 1978 copy of the DDT, with my Klan photograph on the front page and a full-page photo essay just inside. He looked over the photos of all the people in the crowd, naming one after another. I was hoping he would find himself published there, but he wasn’t. I’ll have to return to the garage … I have my roll of negatives from that weekend … somewhere.

Over lunch at Tamarind Seed, Melvin and I talked about the pending election of Barack Obama as president and what a remarkable change that represented since we first crossed paths 30 years earlier. Melvin’s engineering firm recently downsized amidst the economic turmoil and he was left without a job. But he dazzled me with his recall for names of nearly everyone he’s met and his knowledge of the construction and architecture and commercial real estate industry. He talked about the many people with whom he stays in touch and the many he mentors. To the young people who ask him advice about careers, he tells them, “No matter what industry you are in or what job you have, remember one thing: You are always in the people business.” 

Melvin will find a new job soon. People have always told him he should be in the PR business, since he knows and remembers so many names and faces. I told him I’d be happy to help get him started if he ever did want to hang out his own shingle. He would be fabulous at it.

Had I not walked up to Melvin that evening in Buckhead and shook his hand, we’d never have made the connection. Had I not dropped by my new newspaper office that Friday afternoon in August 1978, three days before I was to report to duty on the following Monday, I would never have been invited to go on the weekend trip to Okolona. It all re-confirms my notion that if you talk to anyone long enough, you’ll find a connection you never dreamed you have. 

Turns out that first weekend in Mississippi was a highlight of my time down there. I was so pumped as we drove back through the Delta that hot Sunday morning, back toward the Mississippi River town of Greenville, to what I was then to call home for more than a year. If that was my first weekend, I thought, think what the rest of the time would be like. Well, it was never quite as exciting. I covered police and courts and chased fire engines and car wrecks and followed murder trials and attended Rotary clubs and school board meetings, but they all paled in comparison to that first Saturday on the job.

That day in Okolona was fascinating. Lines of local African-American residents marching down one side of the main street of town, paralleled by a line of Ku Klux Klansmen marching the opposite direction on the other side of the street. TV crews in the midst, Geraldo’s helicopter hovering above, carloads and truckloads of locals shouting to either side.

The DDT photographer, Larry Looper, and I stood by the pay phone near the end of Okolona’s Main Street, while reporter David Saltz called in his story to the Associated Press. Larry and I looked over our rolls of film (back then we had to wait to develop them in the darkroom back at the newsroom). As the afternoon grew into evening and as David finished his dictation, we watched as the entire downtown – which an hour before had been bedlam and high drama – was emptied out of the last car and truck. A lone, white, skinny teenager, perhaps 14 years old, leaned up against the telephone poll across the street and watched the last car pull away. He looked us over and slowly walked toward us. We stood in the still blazing Mississippi sun as he stopped right in front of us.

“Y’all got a reefer?” he asked. 

All that tension from the afternoon drained out of the three of us. We laughed for a long time. 

“No,” Larry said. “We don’t.” The kid wandered away again. 

As the teenager wandered away, Larry said: ”Watching all this shouting and goings-on, I wasn’t too sure about this place. For some reason, I feel a whole lot better about this town.”

November 16, 2008

You Always Remember Your First

Filed under: Media,Public Relations — schroder @ 8:04 am
Chris Schroder

Seven years ago this month my friend Bo Jackson asked me to lunch out of the blue. Well, it was sort of out of the blue. I had actually left him voicemail six months before. The key thing is he actually remembered that he owed me a call. “And,” he said. “I’m buying lunch.

“How’s the newspaper business?” he asked as we sat down at Joey’s near Perimeter Mall. “Wow,” I said. “It has been a while since we last talked.”

Bo, a commercial real estate developer, spent the next 20 minutes talking passionately about a vision he had for the changing workplace. He talked about the coming retirement of the Baby Boomers, about the new generation of employees who were forcing technological and cultural changes in the workforce. He wanted to be on the forefront of the change.

“What are you going to do now that you left newspapers?” he asked.

“I have been working in public relations,” I said. “But now I’m starting my own PR firm.”

“I’m looking for a PR guy,” Bo said.

“Hey, that’s great,” I said. “I’m looking for a client!”

And thus, Schroder PR was born.

Today, seven years later, Bo is still passionate about what we now call the High Performance Workplace. And he’s still my client. You know what they say – “you never forget your first.” Thanks Bo. And thanks to the many other clients who have followed since. We’ve now grown to nine full-time employees and five contractors. Next time Bo and I have lunch, it’s on me.

November 15, 2008

Tell it like it is, Ted

Filed under: Media,Public Relations — schroder @ 1:27 pm

Ted Turner

2008 photo by Thomas James
from the Sunday Paper

I love Ted Turner. I’ve never shaken hands with him, but I’ve been in the same room with him numerous times. We even share the same birthday. Two years ago he celebrated his birthday with his family at a table immediately next to my table and my family. Couldn’t help but notice how well they all got along, as did we.

Of the many things I love about Ted, his genius for starting new broadcast concepts is high on my list. Making Channel 17 WTBS the first national cable SuperStation allowed me to watch the Atlanta Braves while I lived in small towns throughout the South. His founding of CNN allowed this news junkie a 24-hour-a-day fix.  I love his personal and substantial financial commitment to the environment, to the United Nations, to bringing back the American Buffalo, an indigenous mammal that we almost hunted to extinction.

But what I really appreciate is his ability to say anything at anytime. They say the worst speechwriting job in America is to be Ted’s writer. He never follows a script, but follows his own wacky mind. I’ve seen him speak a number of times and he’s always entertaining. It’s like watching a car race … you just know there’s going to be a wreck at some point.

I remember being stuck on the floor of London’s Gatwick Airport in 1978 for five days during an air controller strike. We read all the books and magazines our group had, so someone bought a Playboy magazine and there was a wonderful rambling interview with Ted. He had won yachting’s America’s Cup and the writer asked Ted if he wanted to be President. Sure, he said, he’d love to be, “but I think I’d probably have to be Senator first.” Yep.

Yesterday, I hosted a table of clients to see Ted speak to the Atlanta Press Club. I bought my guests an autographed copy of his new book, “Call Me Ted.” But what I really treated them to was another wacky trip through his mind as he answered the audience’s questions. Within the first few minutes of his remarks, moderator and former CNN President Tom Johnson was jumping to his feet, offering apologies to luncheon sponsor General Motors, who Ted had just accused along with the other big two Detroit automakers of driving their companies into the ground, in total disregard of the commanding environmental, energy and economic trends that had been buffeting them for 30 years.

“I’ve been driving small cars like Toyotas since 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president and we had an energy crisis then … I’ve been driving a Toyota (hybrid) Prius for eight years,” Ted heaped on a few minutes later.

Talking about the economy, he said he was on the cover of Time Magazine as its Man of the year, but then was let go a year and a half before his contract with Time Warner was completed. And he was the largest stockholder. “I’m proof that anyone can be let go. Don’t think you have job security.”

For my money, one of his more memorable lines was about the importance of being a father. He said he gave up yachting in 1981 when he was trying to balance work and family and he realized something had to go. Gone went yachting. “My definition of success is … I don’t think you can be called successful, in any phase of life, if you have a dysfunctional child,” he said. Ted’s children were there. “They all have a job,” he said.

A woman seated near our table asked a question at the end. Actually, she never asked a question. She rambled on and on about how she thought this and agreed with that, so Ted interrupted her and said a few words. She persisted, finally starting to ask a question. Tom Johnson was trying to take back control of the program. The woman got five, maybe six words of her question out when Ted interrupted her. “No, you’re done!” he said. The woman sat down and the audience applauded gratefully.

 

Tell it like it is Ted

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — schroder @ 11:45 am

DEAR READER: PLEASE NOTE MY BLOG HAS MOVED TO: www.chrisschroder.com. THIS SITE WILL NO LONGER BE VIEWABLE IN A FEW DAYS.

I love Ted Turner. I’ve never shaken hands with him, but I’ve been in the same room with him numerous times. We even share the same birthday. Two years ago he celebrated his birthday with his family at a table immediately next to my table and my family. Couldn’t help but notice how well they all got along, as did we.

Of the many things I love about Ted, his genius for starting new broadcast concepts is high on my list. Making Channel 17 WTBS the first national cable SuperStation allowed me to watch the Atlanta Braves while I lived in small towns throughout the South. His founding of CNN allowed this news junkie a 24-hour-a-day fix.  I love his personal and substantial financial commitment to the environment, to the United Nations, to bringing back the American Buffalo, an indigenous mammal that we almost hunted to extinction.

But what I really appreciate is his ability to say anything at anytime. They say the worst speechwriting job in America is to be Ted’s writer. He never follows a script, but follows his own wacky mind. I’ve seen him speak a number of times and he’s always entertaining. It’s like watching a car race … you just know there’s going to be a wreck at some point.

I remember being stuck on the floor of London’s Gatwick Airport in 1978 for five days during an air controller strike. We read all the books and magazines our group had, so someone bought a Playboy magazine and there was a wonderful rambling interview with Ted. He had won yachting’s America’s Cup and the writer asked Ted if he wanted to be President. Sure, he said, he’d love to be, “but I think I’d probably have to be Senator first.” Yep.

Yesterday, I hosted a table of clients to see Ted speak to the Atlanta Press Club. I bought my guests an autographed copy of his new book, “Call Me Ted.” But what I really treated them to was another wacky trip through his mind as he answered the audience’s questions. Within the first few minutes of his remarks, moderator and former CNN President Tom Johnson was jumping to his feet, offering apologies to luncheon sponsor General Motors, who Ted had just accused along with the other big two Detroit automakers of driving their companies into the ground, in total disregard of the commanding environmental, energy and economic trends that had been buffeting them for 30 years.

“I’ve been driving small cars like Toyotas since 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president and we had an energy crisis then … I’ve been driving a Toyota (hybrid) Prius for eight years,” Ted heaped on a few minutes later.

Talking about the economy, he said he was on the cover of Time Magazine as its Man of the year, but then was let go a year and a half before his contract with Time Warner was completed. And he was the largest stockholder. “I’m proof that anyone can be let go. Don’t think you have job security.”

For my money, one of his more memorable lines was about the importance of being a father. He said he gave up yachting in 1981 when he was trying to balance work and family and he realized something had to go. Gone went yachting. “My definition of success is … I don’t think you can be called successful, in any phase of life, if you have a dysfunctional child,” he said. Ted’s children were there. “They all have a job,” he said.

A woman seated near our table asked a question at the end. Actually, she never asked a question. She rambled on and on about how she thought this and agreed with that, so Ted interrupted her and said a few words. She persisted, finally starting to ask a question. Tom Johnson was trying to take back control of the program. The woman got five, maybe six words of her question out when Ted interrupted her. “No, you’re done!” he said. The woman sat down and the audience applauded gratefully.

TO VIEW MY CONTINUED BLOG, YOU WILL NEED TO GO TO www.chrisschroder.com

November 14, 2008

Back to the Blog

Filed under: Life Stories — Tags: — schroder @ 2:37 pm

DEAR READER: PLEASE NOTE MY BLOG HAS MOVED TO: www.chrisschroder.com. THIS SITE WILL NO LONGER BE VIEWABLE IN A FEW DAYS.

Dear Blog:

I know you are upset with me for suddenly abandoning you six months ago. I do hope you will forgive me. And let me just say: It’s not you, it’s me. It really is.

But now I’ve returned and I hope you will accept me back. No, I didn’t leave you for another. Well not exactly. It’s not like I was writing on another blog. But I guess I was writing around, you know, emails, memos, letters and articles. But it didn’t really mean anything. I didn’t have any feelings for them. It’s you I care about.

It’s not like you were sitting all by yourself with no one messing with you, either. The whole time I was away, people kept walking up to me and telling me they had been visiting you. They told me they really enjoyed their time with you and were having a really good time. I’ll admit I was jealous, but I kept thinking I’d write, but it was just so difficult to return after so long. I thought about you every day, particularly when I had to delete that line at the end of my email signature that read “Check out my new blog!” I mean, I deleted that line on my emails 20 or 30 times a day before I pressed “Send.” You’d think it would have just been easier to post an entry. But I didn’t. What was it? Pride? Sloth? Gluttony? I don’t know.

But then my staff scheduled an intervention last month. They invited me to a seminar on New Media and near the end, they put my last blog entry from May on the screen and they all turned to me and said I need to go back to you. That we were really good together. They noticed I haven’t been myself since I left you and that, try as I might to be totally distracted by watching and reading all I could about Barack Obama and then the Atlanta Falcons – both of which kept winning against all odds – I didn’t seem totally happy. In the end, when the election and the games ended, I got back to thinking about you. After a few drinks I’d start talking about you. Several times I even picked up my laptop and almost … almost began typing again.

And then today, as I was driving my wife Jan to the Atlanta Press Club to hear Ted  Turner speak, she had me all alone in the car. And she told me an extraordinary thing: She said it was okay if I went back to you. She would not be jealous. She knew I wouldn’t return to you unless she gave me permission and today she did. In fact, she told me I couldn’t read the Sunday papers this weekend unless I visited you first.

So here I am. I’m back for good this time. I hope you’ll take me back. I promise to be faithful this time. I’ve learned my lessons.  I’m finished sowing my wild oats. You are the one I really want.  C’mon. Grow old with me. The best is yet to be!

TO VIEW MY CONTINUED BLOG, YOU WILL NEED TO GO TO www.chrisschroder.com

Back to the Blog

Filed under: Life Stories — schroder @ 12:00 pm

Dear Blog:

I know you are upset with me for suddenly abandoning you six months ago. I do hope you will forgive me. And let me just say: It’s not you, it’s me. It really is.

But now I’ve returned and I hope you will accept me back. No, I didn’t leave you for another. Well not exactly. It’s not like I was writing on another blog. But I guess I was writing around, you know, emails, memos, letters and articles. But it didn’t really mean anything. I didn’t have any feelings for them. It’s you I care about.

It’s not like you were sitting all by yourself with no one messing with you, either. The whole time I was away, people kept walking up to me and telling me they had been visiting you. They told me they really enjoyed their time with you and were having a really good time. I’ll admit I was jealous, but I kept thinking I’d write, but it was just so difficult to return after so long. I thought about you every day, particularly when I had to delete that line at the end of my email signature that read “Check out my new blog!” I mean, I deleted that line on my emails 20 or 30 times a day before I pressed “Send.” You’d think it would have just been easier to post an entry. But I didn’t. What was it? Pride? Sloth? Gluttony? I don’t know.

But then my staff scheduled an intervention last month. They invited me to a seminar on New Media and near the end, they put my last blog entry from May on the screen and they all turned to me and said I need to go back to you. That we were really good together. They noticed I haven’t been myself since I left you and that, try as I might to be totally distracted by watching and reading all I could about Barack Obama and then the Atlanta Falcons – both of which kept winning against all odds – I didn’t seem totally happy. In the end, when the election and the games ended, I got back to thinking about you. After a few drinks I’d start talking about you. Several times I even picked up my laptop and almost … almost began typing again.

And then today, as I was driving my wife Jan to the Atlanta Press Club to hear Ted  Turner speak, she had me all alone in the car. And she told me an extraordinary thing: She said it was okay if I went back to you. She would not be jealous. She knew I wouldn’t return to you unless she gave me permission and today she did. In fact, she told me I couldn’t read the Sunday papers this weekend unless I visited you first.

So here I am. I’m back for good this time. I hope you’ll take me back. I promise to be faithful this time. I’ve learned my lessons.  I’m finished sowing my wild oats. You are the one I really want.  C’mon. Grow old with me. The best is yet to be!

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