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Homestead highlights

My weekend trip to Hot Springs for the Virginia Press Association’s 125th anniversary convention was a memorable one, and for more than just treading the same golf ground as Sam Snead, though that was nice, too, despite the fact that the Cascades is not a course for the average golfer.

The featured speaker was the director of the Newspaper Association of America whose name is in my notes, which are at office. As one might expect, he was bullish on the future of our industry. Despite the dire warnings from many, particularly Wall Street types, who fear newspapers’ demise in the face of the onslaught from the Web, he said newspapers are well-positioned for the future, noting that without fail, newspaper Web sites like this one are far and away the busiest in their communities and as such we are better positioned than most others to capture a good share of any revenue that is or may become available.

It made me even more excited about the potential of this site and our current redesign project.

Even though it was his job to say such things, the remarks seemed to cheer those of us in attendance. We needed it…

…A highlight of my trip was breakfast on Saturday with Ray Boone, who was a member of the inaugural class of the VPA’s Golden 50 Club, a group of about a dozen Virginia journalists honored for surviving 50 years in the business.

Boone is the founder of the Richmond Free Press newspaper, but he got his start as the “black news” reporter for the Suffolk News-Herald in the 1950s. I learned a lot about the history of the paper. It was a pleasure being with him and even felt some pride in Suffolk when he got his award…

…The Homestead, incidentally, while nice, was just a little too similar to the hotel in “The Shining” for my kids’ taste. My daughter told me she saw a kid riding a Big Wheel in the hallway on the 15th floor…