Opinion: Getting to know your columnist

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Hereís the deal Ö

Iím working on two research-heavy projects, so this seems like a perfect time for some housekeeping.

Iíve got a bundle of emails with questions that Iíve let sit around far too long. Might as well get to a few while I can.

Quick note: Iíve shortened some of your questions a bit, and since Iíve missed quite a few, I promise weíll get to them next time.

On with the show Ö

Q: Who in the heck are you to throw out opinions weíre supposed to believe?

A: Just a guy off the street, really. Your thoughts are as good as mine ó except that I get to sound off in the paper several times per week.

On the serious side: Iíve been at this for a long time, and spend an awful lot of hours talking to experts and learning about my subjects.

If I donít feel truly confident that Iíve got a conclusion to share ó like shooting the AR-15 and then not deciding how to balance fun and legality with public safety ó Iíll say so.

Iíve never claimed I have all the answers.

Q: Youíve mentioned that what you write is called a column. What exactly is that?

A: Itís a mistake on my end. The word ďcolumnĒ in this context is newspaper jargon for what we probably should describe as ďcommentary.Ē

But the bottom line is that a ďcolumnistĒ is allowed to publish his or her opinions.

Q: Have you worked at newspapers bigger than The Press?

A: Yep.

Kansas City and Denver were much bigger. But Iíve had it up to my eyebrows with big cities in general, and professionally itís far more rewarding to work for a community paper.

I love seeing the people I write about in the grocery store ó well, most of the time.

Q: You write about your cat, which is a lot of fun, but you never mention a family. Are you married?

A: Nooooooo.

As the old saying goes: Iíve been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. Not a cheap shirt, either.

No children, which is a true regret (along with not pitching in the major leagues).

There is a lady in my life named Melissa, who is a combination of partner and travel agent, occasionally morphing into a third-grade teacher.

Being honest now, sheís the kind of person who worries more about you than she does about herself ó and that is SO rare.

Melissa has a home in the suburbs of Kansas City and basically commutes, especially when we have nice weather.

Melissaís son, Matthew Gwin ó youíve seen his name on stories in The Press ó is about to turn 21, attends the University of Kansas and is the closest thing to a son of my own that I could possibly imagine.

Not that Iím biased, but I thought he was the best reporter at the paper when he spent that one semester here as an intern. Actually, he was the best in Idaho. And the country. And the world.

I did say Iím not biased, right?

Q: Youíve written that you moved to Twin Lakes Village from Coeur díAlene. Do you miss the city?

A: Depends when you ask me.

When Iím on the golf course right outside my condo, or enjoying the mountain scenery, then no. But sure, there are times when Iíd really like to stroll through downtown.

And we donít have a Costco in the neighborhood, either.

On that jovial note, Iíve gotta say youíve been a great audience ó and Iíll be here every week.

Celine Dion comes on next.

ēēē

Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.

A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week. Steveís sports column runs on Tuesday.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com.

Twitter:@BrandNewDayCDA

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