10 Years … That’s a Fact!

 10 Years … That’s a Fact!

By Sean McVeigh

Many of you know I got my pinky toe in the door at The Rockaway Times with “Facts You Probably Don’t Need.” I like to think of it like starting in the mailroom. Back in 2014, in the fifth issue of this fresh and free newspaper, Kevin Boyle needed to fill some space and so, tucked under an editorial blasting Bill de Blasio and a cartoon blasting … Bill de Blasio — good times — was a small section labeled “Facts You Probably Don’t Need.” How do I know this was thrown in to fill some space? Well, the final fact that week was, “Sometimes newspapers have holes to fill.” These filler facts continued on and off the first few weeks and each time they popped up, they would catch my eye. One day I made it known to Kevin that I was, in fact, a facts fan and, if he was interested, I would be happy to supply a few of my own for the following week. Seeing the chance to get one of the 20,000 things off his plate, I was given permission to send in some facts for what I thought would be a week or two. Ten years later, I am still digging deep into the bowels of the internet each week to unearth facts that, in reality, you probably don’t need … and I love it!

Ten years ago, I picked up The Rockaway Times and fell in love. I know I’m not alone in that regard. What’s not to love about this paper? It’s weird for me to say now that I am on this side of things, but long before I was on the inside, I was simply an unabashed fan. As it was then, and as I hope it is still now, the paper was a fun, easy read, highlighting some amazing people doing some amazing things in an amazing place.

This paper’s beginnings were very humble. The original, nimble team somehow made magic each week — squeezed into the Belle Rock booth turned newsroom. The Rockaway Times may not have moved far away from its genesis, but it has certainly come a long way. I can’t even imagine how Kevin was able to pull this all together back then. That accomplishment is even more glaring from my vantage point these days. I like to say that we are just working on a foundation, solid as a rock, built by Kevin, my mom, Pat McVeigh, and the others who were there from the inception. They were on the front lines, in the trenches. These days we are still reaping the benefits of their hard work.

While the paper has certainly come a long way tangibly, in a more abstract way, nothing has really changed. Ten years ago, in the inaugural edition of the Rockaway Times, Kevin Boyle wrote an editorial laying out what he envisioned for this new paper. He said, “In this, our inaugural edition, we have one main editorial position we want to make clear: We love Rockaway!” ‘Nuff said, in my opinion. I think that sums up this operation pretty succinctly. Every single Thursday, for the last 10 years, a little love letter has been sent to Rockaway — The Rockaway Times.

As we’ve said countless times before, none of this would be possible without our loyal readers and our steadfast advertisers. Some of you have been there since day one and others pop up each week. We love you. We do this for you. We couldn’t do it without you. So, thank you!

It’s been a great first couple of years for us. I know it was a great eight years for Kevin. Here’s to 10 more years of entertaining and informing Rockaway — First and Free! … And, heck, while we’re at it, 10 more after that, too!


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