My old ID Card from my days at the old Daily Record newspaper.
My “Clark Kent” Days at the Daily Planet
By Richard Mabey Jr.
From April of 1984 till June of 1985, at the age of 30, I fought my second battle with Rheumatic Fever. My first battle was when I was 12. During this time, I was in and out of the hospital a few times. In between the hospital visits, I had to have strict bed rest.
It was during this year that I worked diligently on my stage play about my great uncle, Earl Mabey. Great Uncle Earl was my grandfather’s brother who was killed in France fighting in the First World War. My year of illness did not slow me down in my fiery determination to be a writer.
Shortly after the doctor told me that I had successfully won my battle with the deadly strep infection that had attacked my heart, I began looking for work as a writer. I was physically weak at the time. However, I was determined to make it as a writer.
My guardian angel smiled down on me and I landed a job at the big New Jersey daily newspaper, The Daily Record. It was humble work. I wrote obituaries and proofread news stories. Bottom line: no bylines! But, I was given the chance to learn more of what made a newspaper tick. And, I was going to take full advantage of this educational opportunity.
I learned all I could about the dynamics of the newspaper business. When I ate lunch with my fellow employees, I wasn’t afraid to ask questions. And, I never worried about asking a “dumb question.” I was furiously determined to learn all that I could about the newspaper trade.
In the months that followed, from my first day at the big Daily Record, I became stronger and stronger with each passing day. The furious flame to grow as a writer, burnt deeply and brightly in my heart.
I stayed at the old Daily Record for about a year and a half. I brought my lunch every day. I saved every penny I could. And, alas, on the first of January of 1987 I boldly and proudly left the prestigious job of writing obituaries and correcting other writer’s mistakes.
On February first of 1987, I published the first copy of The Lincoln Park Journal. It was a biweekly newspaper of the heart stirring drama and events of my old beloved hometown. It was fun and educational. I got to meet a lot of the movers and shakers of my dear old Mayberry.
Somehow and someway, the first 13 editions of The Lincoln Park Journal made it the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The URL is:
I published the Lincoln Park Journal for about two years. In January of 1989, I landed a writing job in the Public Relations Department of a large telecommunications company. I worked there for nearly a decade and learned an incredible amount about the world of corporate public relations.
Sometimes we are a dealt a poor hand. No pairs, no runs. Still, we must dig deep to find that furious fire burning within our hearts that gives us the courage and the strength to move forward toward seeing our goals and dreams come true.
When I was in the midst of a year-long battle with my second bout of Rheumatic Fever, I could have easily given up my dream to become a writer. Despite being dealt a bum hand, I fought that much harder. I focused and concentrated on becoming a successful writer.
Never let anyone or anything stop you from becoming the person you are meant to be. Believe in yourself. Never put yourself down. Give it all you got. Fan the flame of your burning desire to see your dreams come true! Failure is not an option!