It's 100 Columns and Counting on Norton Patch
Your local columnist celebrates 100 Patch columns and thanks Patch and readers
Last fall I was contacted by my old friend Mike Hardman. He asked if I would meet with him and Kelly Mello to discuss possibly writing columns for something called Norton Patch, a new electronic media venture focused entirely on the Norton community. Since he wanted to meet at Wendell’s, I figured at the very least I would wind up with some wings.
The wings were great as always, and the conversation interesting. But when they told me they were looking for me to pen three local columns a week, I remember wondering aloud if there was enough going on in Norton to warrant three opinion pieces every seven days. Plus, I just wasn’t sure this “Patch” thing was going to work out.
Some eight months later, today is my 100th Norton Patch column. It has been a new experience for me, a bit different from the newspaper columns I have written (and continue to write) over the past 13 years. It has provided me with an opportunity to have an ongoing conversation with residents (and former residents) of my hometown, and a chance to be a part of this great experiment in participatory communications.
Patch has been successful in Norton in large part due to the efforts of editor Kelly Mello. At our first meeting I told Kelly the key to being accepted would be being perceived as genuine, that Norton folks will always recognize a phony. Kelly understood that, and in eight short months has made both Patch and herself a real part of the Norton community. It just isn’t a true Norton event these days until Kelly gets there.
Patch isn’t a newspaper, and doesn’t try to be one. It is a local platform for local people. You can find reporting on local government and events, profiles of local people and characters, great places to eat in town, details on great local businesses, and of course – wonderful opinion columns. I’m particularly partial to those.
So thank you to Patch and our readers for bearing with me for the first 100 columns. I’m looking forward to the next few hundred, and I hope the rest of Norton is too. After all, Patch is really all about them.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and a resident of Norton for over 50 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.