By PAUL DERRICK
I have come to the decision to retire my “Stargazer” column, effective immediately. Sorry about the short notice, but this has come about rather suddenly.
The catalyst, although not the sole reason, for this decision relates to my changed relationship with the Waco Tribune-Herald which has been my flagship paper since the column’s beginning in 1990. The Trib was recently bought by a large out-of-state corporation which on August 18 informed its local freelance columnists (all six of us!) that we would have to sign a contract which, as we interpreted it, required us to give the corporation virtual de facto ownership of and exclusive control over our material – future columns and all past columns that have ever been published in the Trib. Since I, along with a couple of other of the columnists, decided not to sign such a contract, the Trib decided it would no longer carry our columns.
I had been anticipating retiring “Stargazer” on its 25th birthday at the end of 2014, but it seems perhaps now is the right time. Having just turned 72, I’m getting a bit weary of the column’s demands, and I’m ready to spend time actually doing more stargazing myself.
Since 2002, I have been sharing the column with other papers – upwards of some 60, mostly in Texas – and for those who have been finding space for it, I am grateful. I trust your readers have enjoyed it.
Should any of you be interested, my Stargazer website (www.stargazerpaul.com) has a monthly calendar which contains much of the information which as been included in the second column of each month. You have my permission to extract and publish any of the information therein as you may wish to use – for your newspaper’s print and/or website version. (I would appreciate receiving credit as the source.)
Again, thank you for having been a member of the Stargazer family, and I wish you, your paper, your readers, and your community well.
Story filed under: West Texas Talk