Thursday, June 3, 2010
Coming Full Circle
My 'Journalism Ethics' course just started, # three-of-five required for a Certificate of Journalism. I'm reminded of my first J course taken on campus 28 years ago, 'Newswriting and Reporting'--where our initial in-class assignment, tapped out on electric typewriters, was to compose your own obituary. Not much to say at age 27.
The Amherst Athletic Club, my life for all these years since, is now dead. And no, it's not a planned or even at this point well thought out process. I had planned to close the Club--but not until 1/30/2012, our 30th anniversary.
The last year of business would have been fun, hopefully with numerous former members returning for a "going away workout" and casual remembrances of our youth.
The last few years have been far from fun. Three years ago we were the lowest priced club in the Valley. Last year we looked downright expensive compared to Planet Fitness at a predatory $9.95 month. And the collateral damage was even worse, as other full service clubs lowered their prices to compete.
And of course, Umass opened the $50 million Recreation Center (I affectionately dubbed 'The Deathstar') free to Umass undergrads and fairly cheap to join for employees or alumni, a demographic category that probably encompasses about half the population of Amherst.
But the Martial Arts will continue at this location...retreating back to our roots, as that is how we debuted at 'The Dead Mall' back in 1982. And the new 'Karate Kid' remake will certainly boost the instruction school industry as it did back in 1984.
Like the typical disgraced politician I could always invoke the "wants-to-spend-more-time-with-the-family" spin, and that would not be untrue. Since the coming of daughter #2, Jada, my physical involvement at the Club lessened rather dramatically. Plus my wife's professional travels to Asia are increasing; we've decided never to part for more than three weeks, so now the entire family goes.
What the Hell, there's always my first love, journalism--and isn't that a wide open field for employment these days? (Yes, sarcasm needs a special font.)
The Bully reports