Columnist closes book on part of his life

I vividly remember arriving at my first Teen Beat meeting two years ago.

Sheepishly walking into that small conference room, in a back corner of the second floor of the Post-Bulletin building, filled with several of the area's best young writers, I felt strangely out of place.

I specifically remember the meeting's expediter asking each columnist what thing they would be writing about. Everyone had answered the question with an appropriate reply of Sound &; Vision or Opinion.

As the question hastily rounded the table, I began to squirm in my seat. Sweat began to trickle down my face, my heart began to pound. OK, so maybe I'm slightly exaggerating. Trying to articulate detailed descriptions of the past will occasionally cause one to fudge some of the particulars.

Finally the question reached me. I ineptly answered it with the only truthful reply I could "Uh, uh, I have no idea."


Not only, did I not have any idea, about what I was going to be writing about, I also didn't have any idea what I was doing there. Truth be told, I had limited writing experience and hardly considered myself a "good writer." Yet, there I was, some say by divine providence, to embark on a journey that would open doors for me and take me places I frankly never dreamed of.

That was then, this is now. And as I dip my quill in ink for the last time, I can finally look back upon the journey and truly appreciate its impact upon my life.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my tenure as a Teen Beat columnist has been receiving comments from you, the reader. While I've enjoyed all the observations I've received, there is one particular letter that stands out.

The fact that it was written from a resident of Napa, Calif., (I didn't know they got the Post-Bulletin out there) probably has something to do with it being special.

The letter was written in response to the article I wrote on Sept. 18 about the 9/11 tragedy. In the article, I had emphasized how important it was for America's youths to play a vital role in our nation's healing process. In doing so, I had referenced how the youths of the Pearl Harbor era had done just that. As I read through the letter, I was moved by the fact that its author was a member of Rochester High School's graduating class of 1942.

Though 60 years and thousands of miles separated us, I was able to communicate to this individual, something I would otherwise never have had a chance to do, through the medium of written expression.

Today is the last time I will have that opportunity. Today is the last time I will write a column for Teen Beat. It has definitely been a privilege to share my opinions and viewpoints with you. I hope and pray that you have enjoyed them, and perhaps even learned something from them.

As I close this chapter, this journey in my life, I move, but not without first looking back and giving thanks for the ride.


Sidney Frye II is a graduate from Rochester John Marshall High School. To respond to an opinion column, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail to

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