I am proud to say that my Pine Brook Village story scooped all the other regional weeklies and I scooped every daily newspaper in northern New Jersey.
My Story That Scooped The Big Dailies
By Richard Mabey Jr.
For decades, I have written for small town weeklies and larger regional weeklies. I have had well over a thousand articles published in these mediums of good journalism. For decades, friends, fellow church members, relatives and neighbors would ask me why I didn’t jump stream and start writing for a big daily paper. Sometimes these folks weren’t too kind at all. I know they meant well. But sometimes they were downright mean, saying things like, “ya’ know Richard, you’d make a lot more money writing for one of those big daily papers. You’re wasting your time writing for these little town weeklies.”
Well, once in a while, I would scoop the big daily papers. Once in a while, I would put the big dailies to shame. Once in a while, my depth of detail, really and truly put the big boys to shame.
My old identification badge from my days of writing obituaries at the Daily Planet.
From the early 1980’s to the middle of the 1980’s, I wrote copy for a big daily paper in northern New Jersey. Mostly I wrote obituaries. I also did write engagement announcements, wedding anniversary stories, church and temple news, American Legion happenings, well you get the idea. But the hard truth of it all is that very few of these articles and stories had bylines to them. And, of course, an obituary never gets a byline.
For the most part, I was ashamed to write obituaries. The person who writes obituaries is on the bottom of the ladder in the editorial department among all those snobs. I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I could break a big story, if I was just given a chance.
One day while sitting on the front porch of the old Mabey Homestead, Dad gave me some words of encouragement that gave me such a great big boost.
One day, my dad gave me great comfort and gave me a great big boost. I remember the moment very well. Dad and I were sitting on the rocking chairs of the front porch of the old Mabey Homestead. As true to my memory as I can recollect, this is what Dad said to me.
“Richard, you know when you write an obituary for someone, your writing the last tribute that that person will ever get for the rest of all time. You’re doing a good thing son.”
I so dearly miss talking to Dad while sitting on the front porch of the old Mabey Homestead. This is a photo of Dad standing on the western side of that dear old porch.
There are no words to convey how much those words that Dad said to me, meant to me. I dearly miss those moments of talking to Dad, while sitting on those old rocking chairs of the front porch of the old Mabey Homestead. The front porch was fully enclosed. It surrounded the western side and front side of our old home. The front porch was like a Boy Scout museum, filled with Dad’s scouting mugs and framed Rockwell prints. I truly miss that old front porch.
A close up of my famous Pine Brook Village article, that defined the first and foremost conflict between the Town Council and the Builder.
I am proud that I scooped the big dailies on my Pine Brook Village article. And, I am immensely proud of the governing body of my old hometown of Lincoln Park. You see, in a nutshell, the builder wanted to put all of the low housing units in one building. And, vice versa, market Pine Brook Village by advertising that all the fair market units would be in one building, completely unencumbered by any low housing units.
Long story short, the Town Council won and the greedy builder lost. And, when all the dust had settled I had accomplished something worthwhile. I got a lot of compliments and thanks on the Pine Brook Village story, from a lot of residents of Lincoln Park. People began to see the Lincoln Park Journal as a paper that printed hard hitting news. And, they began to look to the Lincoln Park Journal as a medium to find out what was happening in their town.
When I started publishing the Lincoln Park Journal, I wrote 90 percent of the copy at my desk in my bedroom. It was a humble beginning. But through it all, I learned more about journalism than if I had taken a journalism course at Harvard University.
Looking back at my days of publishing the Lincoln Park Journal, I learned a lot. The young, shy, kind gentleman of my younger self grew to become courageous and bold. There is one single thing that none of my critics can take from me. Somehow and someway the first 13 issues of the Lincoln Park Journal are now in the prestigious Library of Congress. Despite all the people of Lincoln Park who told me that LPJ wasn’t a real paper, the Library of Congress thought otherwise.
In fact, you can check it out for yourself. Here is the URL that proves that LPJ is in the prestigious Library of Congress:
To anyone who has a dream that they are holding dear to their heart, I share these words with you: stay steadfast and true to your dream. Never give up. Never allow anyone to put you down. Never give in to your critics. Never stop dreaming. Think positive. Fight for what you believe in. Hold dearly to your dream.
If a young man, working with lunch money, can publish a town weekly that scooped the big dailies with some big stories; then it’s possible for you to see your wildest dreams come true. If a young man, faced with a line full of critics from his home town, can move mountains with a pen and paper; then you can move mountains to accomplish things beyond your wildest dreams. Never give up! Never, never, never give up!