Ten years. A decade. A tenth of a century.
That’s how much time has passed since my wife, Maggie, and I started The Anna Maria Island Sun.
It hardly seems possible. But there it is. We’ve been at this now for 10 years, and I have to ask myself, “Where did the time go?”
Wait a minute. Wasn’t it just last week that our kids were five and eight years old, wearing “Newsies” outfits and handing out copies of our first edition at Publix?
For that matter, who is this nearly six-foot tall young man claiming to be my son, Connor? And when, exactly, did my daughter, Katie, grow up and realize her dad is not the coolest guy on the planet?
Of course, it seems like only yesterday that we at The Sun were planning our inaugural issue, running around like crazy people just trying to get all our computers and second-hand office furniture in place.
Back in 2000, none of us had any idea what lay in store in the coming years; whether we would be successful in launching a new Island publication or whether we would join a field littered with failed attempts.
A number of newspaper veterans answered my call and showed an interest in working here. It is no overstatement to say they were taking a huge risk. Several left good jobs at daily newspapers to come work for an upstart weekly – a publication that was facing long odds and entrenched competition.
Trusted friends and advisors cautioned us about the perils of opening a new business and especially about starting a newspaper. “You’re crazy,” was what two people told me directly, and it seemed to be the prevailing sentiment even among those with our best interests at heart.
More than 520 editions later, we’re still here.
What a ride it’s been. Successes, failures, triumphs and tribulations, we’ve managed to live through all of it and come out the other side with our business still flourishing.
From trying to produce a newspaper while in the middle of a hurricane power outage, to being told long distance that the printer’s presses blew up on deadline, working at The Sun has been anything but dull.
During all this time and through all the challenges, our newspaper “family” has evolved while still remaining largely intact. In fact, seven of those daring souls who signed on in the beginning are on the staff today. I owe these folks more than I can possibly say for staying the course and being so dedicated to producing a quality community newspaper.
And to our readers, advertisers, our friends and our families who have given us so much support, both emotional and financial, thank you for everything. Without you, there would be no Sun.
So what does our future hold now? With 10 years under our belts, how about another 10 years? I just hope it doesn’t go as fast as the first 10. I guess my mom and dad were right. They said take it all in and enjoy every second because it will fly by before you know it.
Or, as one of my favorite songwriters says, “Don’t blink.”
Too late, Kenny. I already did.
Mike Field, publisher