Sonofabitch. I missed the birthday of Uncle Crappy.
Six years ago yesterday, I wrote the first post for Uncle Crappy, while I was working a night shift at the paper and waiting for some weather to hit Pittsburgh so I could write what was likely the first weather story of that winter (Fun fact — while I’ve changed desks three times since that night, I’m still using the same crappy Dell I was using six years ago. I might be better off with a typewriter.). I’m going to blame my oversight on the YinzBowl, the subsequent convalescence/napping and our night at the Make Room For Kids fundraiser at Las Velas, all of which I’ll recap in a day or two.
And while I’m proud to have kept Uncle Crappy (the blog) alive for six years, perhaps a more important date to celebrate would be February 9, 2005 — the day I sent out the email to nearly everyone I knew about this blog, which for the preceeding 15 months had existed without their knowledge.
With one exception. A couple weeks prior to that email, HP had not only discovered Uncle Crappy — a completely random find while she was Googling Juan’s business — but had read the entire thing on her way to figuring out that she knew the author. HP told the story in detail a week or so ago, and credits me with getting her started. Reading that, my friends, is an honor I can’t adequately describe.
But I owe her as well. For the first 15 months I was writing here, I was writing almost exclusively for myself. No one knew about Uncle Crappy, and I was terrified to tell anyone about it. I knew there were a few people reading, and I got maybe a dozen comments in that time, but this was largely a one-way deal. But once HP found the blog, read everything and said she actually enjoyed it, I found the courage to tell everyone else about what I had been doing here.
And that’s where Uncle Crappy (the blog) really began, boys and girls. It’s kept me in touch with old friends around the country (and around the world), it’s netted me new friends — some of whom I still haven’t actually met — and it’s served as my entree into the Pittsburgh group, which, as I’ve said over and over and over, is about the best group of people I could hope to find anywhere (notwithstanding the few of them who tried to kill me while playing football Saturday morning and then shared our pain over margaritas Saturday night).
Thanks to all of you, of course, for making Uncle Crappy — the blog and the person — what it is six years later. And special thanks to HP, who led Uncle Crappy out of the darkness in 2005 — without you, I might still be typing to myself.
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