Hey, I'm 100 today (not years, but editions) and thanks to you, readership has grown to more than 1000 subscribers and continues to expand. Rarely a week goes by without a few new readers added to the list. I can't tell you how gratifying that is.
Today marks my 100th edition and I take great pride in that. What started as a weekly listing update has blossomed into a unique and creative platform to speak to all manner of issues with respect to real estate.
Unexpectedly, it has also given me an opportunity to share stories about my children, my friends, my mother-in law, my sisters, my parents, the dog and my husband - who is easily the funniest person I have ever known, but also loves me in spite of how often I poke fun at him (which is often! ) Honey, this must be the "for better or worse" part of the vows.
As to the rest of you - throughout the months, you've written or called to ask if I was referring specifically to you in a particular piece. Once in awhile, the answer is "yes," but usually, any reference, is coincidental; the examples are a composite of many people and many experiences. Typically, a phrase, a song, a memory or a moment gives me a "jumping off " point and a story takes root (and yes, I do take broad literary license).
I build a framework, let it marinate, rewrite, rewrite, REWRITE, fine tune and then meet with DJ Grubb on Tuesdays who has become an integral part of the process. While he rarely makes changes, when he does, they are always "spot on." He is invaluable to me in keeping the news relevant and the one-liners memorable. (Thank you DJ.)
A few of you have written to ask why your home didn't make The Perspective in a given week, as if it wasn't somehow "Perspective worthy." The short answer is that I made an agreement with my coworkers when I began writing The Piedmont Perspective to seek approval before publication. Some agents prefer to tightly control the marketing of their listings and I do my best to respect that choice and their practice. Inevitably, I'll have made a mistake or two (John Faust) or inadvertently passed along information prematurely. If so, I apologize.
On balance, I hope I have had more hits than misses. If they haven't all been home runs, they've certainly contributed to the conversation as evidenced by those times when you approach me to tell me how much you enjoyed the piece I wrote about baseball, were touched about my son's college hunt or laughed over the argument about Cliff's briefcase .
That you remember the stories, that they made an impact or struck a chord, is continually surprising and brings me great personal joy.
The favorite part of my week is each Wednesday when I hear back from you. (Some of you are regulars and I'm forever in your debt.) I'm most often asked, "How do you come up with the stories?" It's a bit of a mystery (even to me) a touch of serendipity, a lot of work and some pixie dust!
Some of the topics come easily and others take much longer to emerge. Some get tossed in the recycle bin only to resurface weeks later in much better form, having improved while gestating. Others simply get discarded altogether; lost forever or not good enough to make the grade. With each piece, I work very hard to create readable copy and an authentic voice.
I admittedly keep it positive, not because I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but because I truly believe in the concept of home ownership. To quote Dorothy, "There's no place like home."
Along the way, you have referred me friends, family, neighbors and coworkers and my business has grown exponentially. For anyone who works in a competitive field as I do, your referrals are the ultimate compliment and acknowledgment of my value. You have entrusted me with your care in transitions that are often highly emotional, even under the best of circumstances - and I hope I have lived up to your expectations.
So thank you one and all for reading, for writing back, for creating the moments, for the good-natured rebuttals and for The Piedmont Perspective's growing success and circulation. It has been a true privilege. Here's to the next 100 episodes and here's to growing older!
I hope I continue to improve with age.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 17 years and has published more than 650 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.