“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 a few miles from 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, then-Mariner editor 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.