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Something missing

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Pearlman (far left), Tim Giambalvo and Joe Grace: The fleeting pride of Mahopac cross country. Circa 1989.

So while digging through an old photo album yesterday, I stumbled upon a bunch of faded, worn-down newspaper clippings from my occasionally glorious, mostly pedestrian days as a distance runner at Mahopac High School. There are probably, oh, 20 pieces in all, and they ran in one of three local papers near my home in Putnam County, N.Y.

One way or another, they tended to read something like this …

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And as I was combing page by page through the book, I started thinking how—thanks to the death of the local newspaper and the rise of inane social media—young athletes no longer know the pleasure of anxiously finding the latest copy of X publication to see if they spelled your name correctly.

For young Jeff Pearlman, fourth man on the Mahopac XC squad, it was electrifying, thrilling, euphoric. I would never let a clip pass without cutting and saving it; I’d never allow Mom or Dad to go to bed without reading of their child’s exploits. It not only filled me with giddiness. It actually made me want to become a writer.

Alas, it’s a forgotten relic of yesteryear.

Bummer.

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