Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Blogging About Blogging XXIX
Upon my return from Chicago, I received an email from a Company of Friends member who also occasionally reads Media Diet. This is what he said:

My father (Andy McCaskey, Sr.) is 86 years old. My dad worked in broadcasting for many years and before that was a newspaperman and writer. As a personal and professional discipline, he has written a column article of about 500 words each day without missing a day since he was 16 years old, including four years of service in World War II. Some have been published, some read on the air, many ending up in the filing cabinet.

He has been doing the hardest part of blogging -- the content -- since 1932, making him arguably the owner of the world's oldest continuous blog -- just recently tapped into a different transmission medium: his 6-year-old Windows 95 PC and a 28.8 modem.

He may also well be one of the world's oldest bloggers, just now able to publish independently thanks to the technology. This fulfills a life long dream of being able to have others regularly read his work. Writers have a lot in common, regardless of generation. He has had to be able to come up with 500 words on anything the editor could dream up -- maybe just like you. -- Andy McCaskey

Since the end of May, Andy McCaskey, Sr., 86, has been blogging in Topic: Commentary and Essays on Life and Events. Occasionally with awkward line breaks (perhaps given his 28.8 modem), McCaskey comments on topics such as Johnny Appleseed's legacy, the national dream, political ethics, shamanism, and the force of sneezes and coughs. The items are all relatively short -- 450-650 words -- and read as though they could be presented on the radio a la Garrison Keillor or Paul Harvey. That's a large part of their charm -- their cadence and rhythm, like you're sitting on someone's porch listening to a story.

I was intrigued by McCaskey's riffs on people who still believe the Earth is flat and the role jaguars play in shamanism -- pretty far-out themes for an 80-year-old to be expanding on! And I enjoyed McCaskey's occasional use of the call back. Two separate items mention the flat Earth. Interesting.

Here's to you, Andy McCaskey, Sr. I'll add you to my daily reads -- and maybe you can get your son to help you add some of your archival material dating back to 1932. Then, Topic will truly be the longest-running blog.

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