Everyone knows Al Gore invented the Internet in 1991. But they don’t know I created Twitter three years earlier. Here are some of my momentous tweets from over the years:
1988 – Landed job at newspaper writing articles about the greatest podiatrist, dentist and beautician who ever lived. Also covering high school sports. #WhattheHeckisFieldHockey.
1990 – Parenting three young children much more difficult than journalism or detective work #ThankGodIt’sMonday.
1992 – Learned how to save articles on floppy disc. Fax machine is likewise amazing. Added extra line to push button office phone. Word processor makes doing reports and articles so easy. #StillWishILearnedHowToType.
1994 – Pressure of coaching Little League games is fraying my nerves. Thank goodness my son can play first base, pitch and bat leadoff. #FatherofFirstRoundPick.
1995 – Finally moved up to a car with a tape deck. Cassette collection starts to grow. #StillMissEightTracks.
1996 – Having fourth child warns older kids how much work it is to raise a baby. With extra mouth to feed, wife looking for full-time job. #Doesn’tThatKidEverSleep.
1996 – Soccer season not going well. Team is winless but son spectacular, playing goalie and forward at the same time. #Can’tUseTheirHandsWhatAStupidGame.
1998 – They just came out with a new Chicagoland atlas. Can’t do my detective work without it. Plus, received a delivery of new phone books. #SoManyPeopleNamedChunInChicago.
1999 – Two kids in Middle School. Wife working second job to pay for daughters’ dance lessons. Is it time to move to outer suburbia? #HowDidWeGetStuckInProviso.
1999 – Moved up to writing monthly column. It’s all I can handle. Glad to be it buried in the back pages. Who could take the pressure of being on Page 3 every week? #AlreadyRunningOutOfTopics.
2000 – Bite the bullet time. Send kids to private high school. Could sure use a raise from the newspaper. At least our house will always increase in value. #RefinanceSure.
2000 – Madison Street reconstruction has revitalized Forest Park. Crowds flocking to business district. Alcohol-based economy flourishing. #ParkingGettingTightWhatIsThisOakPark.
2002 – Enjoy watching high school baseball. Didn’t know the game could be so relaxing and fun for son. Not sure any longer he will be drafted in the first round. #ForestParkLittleLeagueWasBrutal.
2002 – New car has a CD player! What am I going to do with all my tapes? Can’t wait to buy new U-2 album. #WhyAreTheseStupidCDCasesSoHardToOpen.
2004 – Fourth child enters private school. Wonder if they’ll accept American Express. Fortunately, house now worth $300,000. #WhoWouldPayThatMuchToLiveOnBeloit.
2005 – Development booming in Forest Park. Can’t wait to see Roos Building converted to condos. Park improving, too, with a new pool and modern soccer field. #FinallyGotThoseLightPolesOutOfTheOutfield.
2005 – Dining out whenever we want is a real treat. Traveling to Europe is a breeze. Kids really enjoyed Disneyworld. #RefinanceOKButThisIsTheLastTime.
2008 – World coming to end. House now worth $160,000. Mortgage Company still prices it like we’re on the Gold Coast. Slow business, lots of time on my hands. Maybe I can deliver pizzas? #StuckInBasementWatchingTV.
2015 – OK things getting better. Madison Street coming back. Many young families choosing to live in Forest Park. Spirit of optimism returns. #CouldStilllUseThatRaiseFromTheNewspaper.
Column ideas? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I may have been cutting edge with Twitter but remain an AOL dinosaur at heart.
John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.