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  • Doug Tjapkes

The Douger: Still a crusader!

"Get in good trouble, necessary trouble...” John Lewis I’m thinking a lot about editorials these days. Perhaps because a new book is being published as we speak. As a radio journalist, I wrote hundreds of editorials about local community issues and problems. One thing my listeners knew for certain: Doug stood for the “little guy.” I couldn’t begin to list all of the events and all of the people who influenced my passion for helping the underdog. I can’t remember anything as a youngster that started me on that path. The neat thing is, I’m still walking on it! I’m proud to announce the publication of a brand-new book: Tri-Cities---One Grand Community! It’s a book of radio editorials that I wrote and aired between 1964 and 1978. A fellow broadcaster had saved several hundred of them, unbeknownst to me. Upon discovering them, I was assisted by Julie Bunke of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum and Jeanette Weiden of the Loutit District Library in getting them sorted out, retyped and categorized. When presented with the final manuscript, a collection of about 80 editorials, our publisher was elated. “A veritable historical masterpiece,” he exclaimed! Details of availability will be announced soon. All of this is a long explanation as to why I continue to write editorials. At age 65, when most normal people think about retirement, I entered my third and final career, as an advocate for prisoners. It was my calling, my destination. And my pen still worked, my fingers still typed. So, you continue to see editorials by The Douger in this blog site on a regular basis. I hope you'll keep reading them, because this stuff is important! Some listeners used to complain that I was trying to sway opinion. That’s because editorials do, indeed, express opinions. My goal, however, was to help local citizens see the issue. To think about it. To look into it. And, after getting available data, to then form an opinion. Here in this blog site, I’m trying to get you to focus on the needs, the problems, the issues, that our friends behind bars face and must deal with on a daily basis. Too many people don’t care. I don’t see that as an option. In an article titled “What is a Good Editorial,” writers Ajai Singh and Shakuntala Singh said: “Scratch the surface of any good editor who enjoys his job, and a crusader will shine through.” The Douger: Crusading until his pen runs dry.

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