This issue concludes 20 years of publishing: Stay tuned for more

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

It’s nostalgia time again ... happens around this time of the year.

This issue is the last one of our 20th year of publishing. The July 1 issue will be the beginning of our 21st year.

We bet on a concept that I adopted from some old weeklies I read growing up and added a local angle that is embraced by the community.

We bet that a combination of community news and uniqueness would be enough to publish in the shadows of a daily newspaper and carve a niche that also would make us stand out among the weeklies already being publishing here.

There are a lot fewer weeklies now. Apparently, we made the right bets, because here we are, closing out our 20th year.

I’ve published The Bulletin longer than I have done anything else in this profession. I reported for four newspapers: the Daily Tribune in Bay City; Victoria Advocate; The Facts in Clute; and the Houston Chronicle.

Each job was a great experience, totally different from the last one. I enjoyed every segment of the job, the interaction with the community, the writing, becoming friends with others who worked there.

I see the Facts building all the time because we’re in the same area. When I happen to be in other cities where I have worked, I make it a habit to stop by the places I used to hang out.

Sharon, my wife and business partner, and I recently drove through Victoria on our way to San Antonio, and the memories started unfolding.

That’s where we met in 1980 and became best friends. We stopped and visited the old stomping grounds. They brought back good memories. We were young and broke. We were really broke in the broke sense of the word, not in what Hillary Clinton describes as being broke. We were pretty broke.

But it didn’t matter. We found ways to get by and have a good time.

We stopped by a couple of restaurants where we used to eat. While this city has grown, a lot has stayed the same. The old Corral Steakhouse hasn’t changed a bit.

The owner is now 85 and still runs the place. He has even fixed the famous neon sign. One of the workers there said he spent more money on it than what it originally cost.

That is nostalgia.

The mall has new stores, but it’s still the same mall. That’s where Sharon and I hung out a lot. We didn’t buy all that much, though. Casa Ole is still there, but Luby’s is gone. The clerk at Casa Ole said the place was remodeled in 2007.

That’s why it looks different.

There is a new Luby’s being built, she said, but it won’t be at the mall. Sharon and I had our first unofficial date at the Victoria Mall Luby’s.

I have driven by The old Bay City Tribune building a few times. It’s now a discount furniture place. The new building is by the high school. I have been there a few times, but my desk was inside a place that now sells discount furniture.

And, we had some good times in there also. That was my first job in journalism.

The Chronicle is not really all that nostalgic. I was working out of Brazoria County for them, and went in there a few times each month for supplies or to get my paycheck. But, it was a great place to work — great boss, great friends.

Then, The Bulletin came along, taking its different twists and turns each year, as it will for many more years to come.

Some years are great, some are just good, but none are bad. Thank you, dear readers, for helping us complete 20 years of publication. We have enjoyed each second of it.