“30” is the journalistic symbol for the end of a story.
Today, though, it represents the beginning: it was June 27, 1984, 30 years ago today, when the first story I ever wrote for pay (a whopping $15) appeared in a newspaper. My hometown weekly, the Marshfield (Mass.) Mariner, published a feature story that I wrote about two-time state tennis champion Chris Lapriore.
As a 15-year-old kid growing up on the Atlantic Ocean, in the suburbs of Boston, it was a thrilling experience to see my byline and my words in print for others to see.
Two months earlier, for no pay and as a kind of trial run to see what I could do, the Mariner editor at the time, Lois Martin, published my commentary on the hypocrisy of collegiate athletics, with too many athletes getting sham educations. Of course, that story could be written today as well.
A quick search online found two other events from June 27, 1984, both of which may be deemed much more momentous than my professional writing debut: the U.S. Supreme Court ended the NCAA monopoly on college football telecasts and Khloe Kardashian was born.