Make new friends, but keep the old

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Steve Key

By Steve Key

My local newspaper is a trusted friend.

He’s sitting on my doorstep every morning waiting for me to finish my shower and get dressed.

My friend – The Indian­apolis Star – gives me the front-page news while I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

We then turn to the editorial page. I’m interested to see what opinion he’s dying to share with me, along with a Gary Varvel cartoon.

We then take some time to focus on metro news.

He told me the other day about an EMT in Lawrence who will be losing his job due to budget woes.

I recognized the young man because he played soccer with my oldest son when they were both students at Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis.

The same story confirmed what I thought was the case: That administrative job my oldest son left to work on a local Congressional campaign won’t be there after the election – another casualty of the budget.

I was surprised to hear that an employee at Stoney’s Liquor shot and killed someone outside the business.

It’s the store where I stop when I want to try a new microbrew.

Before I leave for the office, we’ll finish the metro news with a quick look at the obituaries and public notice advertising section. The long list of properties in an upcoming tax sale is a little depressing.

When I walk into the HSPA office, my friend is sitting on the front counter. He patiently waits for me until the lunch hour, where we catch up on local sports.

We’re still basking in the glow of an improbable but emotionally satisfying win by our Indianapolis Colts. Andrew Luck is the real deal, and Colts fans will enjoy talking about him in the years to come.

And the Indiana Fever kept its championship hopes alive with a last-second shot to tie its series with the Connecticut Sun.

My friend goes back to the front counter while I go back to work.

When I go home in the evening, he’s still at the house. Depending on how much time I had in the morning, we might pick up the news conversation we had in the morning.

We might look at some of the international news in the front section or finish up some sports topics that we missed during lunch.

My friend The Star evokes a range of emotions. I’ve gotten teary-eyed reading about the New Castle youth baseball team that lost their coach to illness but advanced to the Little League World Series.

Other times I’ve rolled my eyes over things Indiana politicians have said or done. “What was he thinking?” is a common comment during our conversation.

My friend keeps me informed about what’s going on in my neighborhood, Irvington. He tells me about the apartments that are going up where the old Eastside Motel once stood.

Recently, he told me about the level of pollution in the nearby Pleasant Run waterway.

He also saves my family money. My youngest son is moving out of the house soon, and The Star let us know that a furniture store was closing and selling off its inventory.

My friend is constantly telling us what’s on sale at the Kroger and Marsh supermarkets so we can plan our grocery trips. He’s given me coupons so I can save on oil changes and other maintenance costs.

What’s nice about our relationship is I can trust The Star to give me the news straight. I know it’s been verified or he wouldn’t bring it up for conversation.

I see this friendship continuing for a long time.

Steve Key is executive director and general counsel for HSPA.