I just want to thank all the MNB readers who sent me congratulatory emails on Friday as MorningNewsBeat celebrated its 21st birthday. As I said in my FaceTime video, I couldn't do it without you.
Nobody has any right to expect the kind of approbation that I get every day from the MNB community, and I'm not going to share all the lovely emails I got on Friday. But there are a couple that I did want to post, because they illustrate how lucky I have been, not just in my work, but in the opportunities MNB has afforded me.
One was from Brian Dowling, formerly the VP-Public Affairs at Safeway, who was kind enough to write:
Congrats on 21 years of MNB. Thanks for creating an important source of information and commentary on the retail food industry. It’s been five years since I retired and it’s the first thing I still read in the morning—because it’s interesting, thought provoking and fun.
I appreciate that … especially because one of the best MNB-related days I've had in the last 21 years was one that I spent with Brian and Larree Renda, who then was EVP of Safeway and chair of The Safeway Foundation. They took me to a San Francisco Giants home game at what then was AT&T Park (which gets my vote as the best modern baseball stadium in the country). Not only that, we sat in the owners' seats, where folks like Billy Crystal and Robin Williams had sat. Just a wonderful day.
Not only that, I got a video piece out of it … because Larree and Brian informed me that there was a hydroponic garden being cultivated just beyond the outdoor fence. Here's the video I shot that day:
The other email was from Henry Stein, a longtime and loyal MNB reader who has a special place in my heart. In the summer of 2012, I got an email from Henry (who I'd never met to that point), telling me that he would like to give Mrs. Content Guy and me a pair of tickets to a concert that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would be doing at Wrigley Field in Chicago … all we had to do was find our way to Chicago. Which, of course, we did … enjoying the best concert we've ever been to … and earning Henry a hallowed place in the MNB community.
Anyway, this is the email I got from Henry on Friday:
Congrats on 21 years, Kevin. You share that day, 11/19/2001, with the signing of the newly adopted Transportation Service Agreement, or TSA, which paved the way for long security lines, removal of shoes, emptying of pockets, handing over laptops, and being touched from head to toe by gloved strangers who never smile. Compared to TSA, MNB is a welcome morning pick-me-up. (That benchmark is VERY low though…)
Thanks for making me laugh out loud, Henry … and as I said before, thanks to all of you for the great memories and, I hope, a great future together. These are just two of the great people and the great stories, from a 21-year run that, at least if I have anything to say about it, ain't over yet.