One of the earliest memories of my grandfather involves him sitting at the breakfast table, reading the newspaper. He read it from cover to cover; a good sports day required a back to front reading. He was a devoted Cubs fan, so those days were rare.
Therefore, it was no surprise that I would mimic the man I so admired and started reading the newspaper at about 5. At first, it was just the comics, but gradually I read the whole paper. I felt like such a grown-up, eating my cereal and getting ink on my fingers.
The Chicago Sun-Times gave me quite an education. I grew up in a fascinating city filled with history and intrigue, happiness and despair. I read political columns by Mike Royko and learned about film from Roger Ebert. I discovered that Billie Jean King was a lesbian and a serial killer was my neighbor.
The paper left me with a thirst for knowledge, outrage at injustice, and a desire to see the world. I even worked at a Florida newspaper for almost ten years. It seems like yesterday that I sat at that kitchen table with my grandfather, sharing the newspaper. I wish I could thank him for helping chart my course.