As my hero Keith Olbermann might say (were he aware of its existence), it was on this date four years ago that Thrilling Days of Yesteryear was first conceived, its author fully convinced that what he had to say would immediately spark a sensation on the Internets, and that the page views and visits would come rolling in Instapudding-like numbers.
A half-hour later, I gave up and made myself a sandwich. (After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Syracuse.)
The origins of TDOY can be traced back to my very good friend Carmen “The Baby” Jonze, who asked me in an online chat session one night when I was getting a blog. (Although I’ve talked to her a time or two on the phone, we’ve never actually communicated face-to-face—so I get to use a little literary license as to what her voice sounds like. In my imagination, it’s sort of a soft Val-speak (she’s out in California), as in: “Dude, when you are getting a blog? They’re rilly awesome…all the cool kids are doing it!”)
So I gave into peer pressure and started a blog (ironically, it was right here on Blogger): a snarky political offering entitled Weapons of Mass Detraction. Alas, the title was the only thing really clever about it; it soon became painfully obvious (even to me) that I had no talent for making witty observations about politics and that the blogosphere needed another cranky liberal like a moose needs a hat rack. It has since been scattered to the four winds…unless someone managed to cache the darn thing…and don’t think I don’t wake up in a cold sweat some nights worrying about that.
Then I remembered a post from one of my favorite blogs: a funny blurb from World O’Crap about a long-ago radio program called Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories. S.Z. had obtained a copy of the show’s promotional cookbook and had tried to duplicate one of its recipes (the ever popular Magic Meat Pie), with little success; she also found time to poke fun at one of the program’s sponsors, the vegetable shortening known as Spry, and I took the opportunity to send her a Spry commercial (which I cribbed from an old My Friend Irma broadcast). As I thought more and more about the old-time radio program, I became convinced that OTR might be a viable blogging topic, something that I knew a little bit about—and since I hadn’t seen too many blogs on that subject, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear was born.
Since its early moss-covered days at Salon, I have to admit that I’m very surprised at the response to this blog. Its loyal readers and fans (you, you…you…and you two in the back—what I have I told you about sitting on the back of the sofa like that?) have continued to grow with each passing year (um…that didn’t quite come out the way I wanted…what I meant to say was that the readership has grown—not the readers themselves), and have discovered far too late that I can be a very verbose essobee when I get wound up.
Truth be told, there’s been a time or two when I’ve seriously thought about retiring the blog, figuring that I’ve said all I need to say. Fortunately, these periods of burnout don’t last too long—the fact of the matter is, I enjoy finding things to write about and even if TDOY never manages to venture any further than its cozy sofa (feet off the sofa, please) in the blogosphere, that’s okay by me…it shouldn’t be a part-time job, it should be fun. I just have to remember to tell myself that it’s a specialized audience I’m attracting and that Michelle Malkin shouldn’t worry about me knocking on her door anytime soon (to be frank, I’m more worried about that crazy bitch knocking on my door). In closing, I would like to thank everyone who continues to encourage my behavior—you’ll find most of them listed under “Recommended Blogs” so if you’re planning to storm Rancho Yesteryear with torches and pitchforks anytime soon, why not check and see if those individuals are at home first?
I don’t have a blogiversary cake…but I did stop by Rum Runners in Savannah and bought Napoleons for everyone. Enjoy!