I normally save the “things that make me happy” gimmick column for when I’m on vacation. Then a confluence of events this week — mostly the assembly phase of our “Playmakers” football preview magazine — put me in a bunker and on a time crunch.
The good news is that the magazine is almost done. And I can salvage most of a column that didn’t run earlier this summer, like raising a sunken ship off the bottom of the ocean floor. Both of those things make me happy, so here are some other things that make me happy:
• Finishing a big project — “Playmakers” is a large undertaking, with about a dozen feature stories and several hundred photos jammed into its 44 pages. This year, we also shot more than a dozen alternate photos for our online contest to pick the cover. Seeing it all come together and things fall perfectly into place brings with it a sense of satisfaction.
“Playmakers” will be bundled in with our weekend edition on Aug. 20, just in time for the start of football season.
• Law & Order reruns — The long-running cops and courts show returned to NBC this spring, which apparently rekindled a few syndication deals. Five days a week, for 8-12 hours a day, you can strap in for a Law & Order marathon on either BBC America, WE TV, or the Sundance Channel.
From Briscoe and Logan to Bernard and Lupo, from Ben Stone to Jack McCoy, I’ve been on the L&O train for decades. It’s great to have it back in my life. It’s been running on a loop in our house all summer.
The marathons are the closest thing we’ll have to a dedicated Law & Order Channel which, with the original and its various spinoffs, should definitely be a thing.
• 2 pm on Friday — There is something special in the air early Friday afternoon that’s hard to describe. It’s the prospect of freedom and possibilities. Throw in a few great songs to provide a soundtrack and it gets the blood racing.
My Fridays will soon start at 2 pm instead of almost being over, but the delightful sensation of thinking about what might happen in the next 48 hours never leaves.
• Walking the dog — It’s good exercise, good time to think, and I can listen to most of a podcast during the course of a one-mile stroll that takes 45 minutes because of the dog’s 57 pee and sniff breaks.
• The summer sports silly season — They tell me I need to slip in a local sports topic in every column, so this is like a required station identification break on TV or radio.
June and July are certainly slow months for sports in Vicksburg, but there is still plenty going on. As a bonus, most of it is in the morning before it gets hot, which means if I work my schedule right I can snag a couple afternoons a week off. I like that a lot.
• The Red Carpet Bowl — Speaking of sports and things to brag on, we’re three weeks away from celebrating the 60th anniversary of this Vicksburg tradition. Keeping it alive and thriving is something to be proud of.
The doubleheader on Aug. 26 will be at Warren Central and features the homestanding Vikings vs. Forest Hill, and Vicksburg vs. german town. Tickets will go on sale soon, so keep an eye out for them.
Porter’s Chapel and St. Aloysius both start their season with home games on Aug. 19.
That’s about all we’ve got time for right now. Time to go watch some Law & Order and the cucumbers grow.
Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at email@example.com