Packrats on the run: The Fort Bend Star is moving

jsoutherniconIt sure doesn’t take long to accumulate a lot of stuff.

As we are discovering here at the Fort Bend Star, years of accumulation can wrap around you worse than the extra 10 pounds you put on over the holidays. We are in the process of moving to a new location at 3944 Bluebonnet Drive in Stafford. The building we called home for the last eight or so years has been sold and the new owners want our space.

So here we are, scrambling to get a new location ready for us to move in. In the meantime, we are drowning in cardboard boxes and tripping over each other as we amble about packing, pitching and trying to keep the regular workflow going. It’s not a pretty sight.

If there is one thing that can be said about newspaper people is that we are notorious packrats. We save things – a lot of things – because you never know when those old city council meeting notes from 1992 are going to come in handy again. Of course you have to save a copy or two of everything you publish. Then there are the sentimental keepsakes – the trinkets, lanyards, mouse pads, mugs, pictures and things that you just don’t want to let go.

One of the interesting things here at the Star is the collection of old Mac computers. This place is a museum of ancient Apple products. I’ve only been here since March, so I can only assume that when a computer became outdated and useless that it was replaced and set aside “just in case we need it later.” Well, later is here and we still don’t need them.

Scores of awards and other plaques are about to be recycled or pitched. The same goes for a bunch of paintings and posters. Several old desks, chairs, filing cabinets and other office furniture that local charities passed on but are still in fair shape are being hauled off, never to be seen again.

As a serial packrat, it hurts to see good stuff go to waste but there is no room at our new office to keep it nor is there a reason to do so. Unfortunately, by the time you read this all that stuff will be gone, so if you want any of it you’re too late. Trust me, you probably don’t want any of this mess. Anything of value has already been snatched up or is going with us.

I think the hardest part about any move – aside from lifting heavy objects – are the strolls down Memory Lane as you come across sentimental keepsakes that make you pause and recall the good times associated with the object. That’s when you have to decide if it’s important enough to keep. I find that even though I haven’t seen a certain item in years that I’m doing a disservice to the memory or people involved by chunking the item.

I also suffer from a narcissistic hang-up that someday I will have my own man cave (a Museum of Me, if you will) where I can proudly display all of these trophies I’ve bagged over the decades. Of course I’m no longer talking about the office but my own collection of stuff. They tend to intermingle because many of my personal treasures are things I’ve collected as a journalist. There are all kinds of mugs, awards, special press passes and lanyards, autographed pictures, etc., that I can’t decide if I want them in my office or at home.

Since coming to the Star in March, my office has become a mini-museum of Sugar Land Skeeters collectibles. It is a mix of things I’ve collected over the years, augmented significantly by giveaways I snagged while covering the team this season.

At some point I will need to decide if the Skeeters’ stuff belongs at the office, at home or maybe even donated to a museum some day. The team is only five years old now, but there will come a time when this memorabilia will hold some local historic value. At least I keep telling myself that.

In the meantime, we will keep plugging along amid the boxes and chaos between the offices and with luck and a little hard work we will continue to put out a paper without missing a beat. All we ask is that you please pardon our dust as we scoot ourselves down the street a ways.

Now that’s entertaining

One of the things I’ve become acutely aware of in the few months I’ve been here is the large number of major entertainment acts that come to town. Admittedly, what really caught my attention is the number of classic country artists who pass this way.

When the Fort Bend Star hosted its annual Senior Expo at the Stafford Centre three weeks ago, it opened my eyes to the quantity and quality of entertainment coming to Stafford. Regrettably, the theater has flown under my radar until then. I’ve been captivated by the big names and all the hoopla surrounding the new Smart Financial Centre opening soon in Sugar Land. Now I see we have these two wonderful entertainment venues in our back yard, along with several others that routinely host major acts.

As a result, I’m going to attempt to start an entertainment calendar. It will be small in scope at first in an attempt to get it going. It will differ from our regular community events calendar in that it will be limited to entertainment only. I’m also limiting information to the name of the act, date of appearance and the venue. Ideally, the venues will want to promote these events and will either advertise them or make a sponsorship arrangement for the calendar.

Whatever happens, I think this will be of real value to our readers. I know it would have helped me to know some of these concerts and events were coming up and I hope it will help you, too.

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