THIS IS MY FIRST COLUMN FOR THE NEW PUBLICATION – MONTEREY NEWS AND VIEWS. PLEASE LOOK FOR IT ON NEWS STANDS AROUND THE COUNTY
What’s in a name? The last column I wrote for The Monterey Herald was titled: “I Can’t Wait to See the Next Episode.” I described my life as a series of episodes more perilous than the ones faced by the heroine in that melodramatic silent movie series from the early part of the 20th Century, “The Perils of Pauline.” My stretch as a columnist was ending but I knew something else would be coming along.
Well, here it is. This is the next episode. Welcome to the Monterey Bay News and Views. Some very astute and talented people are involved in this enterprise. However, even I must question their sanity in starting up a newspaper when all the signs indicate that newspapers are in trouble, not only here, but all over the country. Then why should this little upstart succeed where others are failing? The answer (he said with all modesty) is that they have me. Wow! You’re probably thinking that my hat size has increased exponentially since that last column I wrote on November 6, 2011. It has gotten a little bigger because of the tremendous outpouring of support I received from so many readers. Oh, I knew there were readers out there. I just didn’t know how much they would miss the column when the paper stopped running it.
Since this paper’s name is The Monterey Bay News and Views I thought I should rename the column something more in keeping with that name. My first thought was something dramatic such as “Baywatch.” It was a natural name since so many people already mistake me for David Hasselhoff. Then I thought of “Bay Window” – but that conjures up a vision of a body style that makes people never mistake me for David Hasselhoff.
There is a story behind the title, “What’s New, Jerry?” It’s a throwback to my days of growing up in Buffalo, NY. My cousin, Phil Ranallo, wrote for the Buffalo Courier Express. His extremely popular column, “What’s New, Harry,” was written from the viewpoint of an inveterate horse player named Harry, and his beleaguered wife, Ruby. I don’t possess Phil’s knowledge of horse racing. I know the part of a horse that swishes is the tail, and the part that whinnies is supposed to cross the finish line first. But Phil remains my idol. He may be the only sports reporter to get thrown out of a basketball game for razzing the referee. The name I’ve chosen for my new column is a tribute to him.
I never expected to be back in print so quickly. I had been searching for outlets since the demise of my other column when this opportunity literally popped up unexpectedly. I wasn’t sure whether or not to take on this new challenge but I recalled sentiments expressed by author John Le Carre’ though his character, George Smiley, in “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy,” about how every man chooses whether to go forward of back — how it’s better to have worth, to entrench, to be an oak of one’s generation.
Smiley says, “There is nothing dishonorable in not being blown about by every little modern wind.” – or perhaps, swept away when someone’s broom cleans house.
I hope you look for me in this space and tell your friends about the MBN&V. And as my cousin, Phil, might have said: “We’re off to the races!”
Jerry Gervase can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org om or visit his website www.jerrygervase.com