I laughed when I read Phil's blog demanding diversity and then found Mike on a similar theme. Truth be told, we have some interesting SWAC bloggers who follow the issues and stay on top of them while at the same time mixing in some whimsical tales, humor, life musings, and sometimes poignant remembrances. All hard news and no fun can be a death knell in blogging. I don't think any of us take ourselves too seriously but we enjoy what we do.
The first thing that comes to mind about Yankee Phil's blogging is that he is prolific! Dang if he can't find some of the most interesting and/or off-beat stories to write about! Phil bills himself as "the voice of reason, freedom, and liberty from the very red Shenandoah Valley." We met not long after he moved to the Valley about five or six years ago ... when he began blogging, his posts about Boy Scout outings with his sons and updates on news items and reporting on local events kept me reading. He has a perspective that most don't ... that of a young retired boots-on-the-ground cop and, beyond that, an NYPD cop who witnessed the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorism attack in New York City. Talk about seeing that tragedy up front and center ... knowing someone who was there is a sobering experience. It reminds us of what is important in life.
When Mike became Fishersville Mike in 2008, he came with a sub-title: "Proud member of SWAC corps. Making America better by blogging." He brought a totally different perspective with his brief and often humorous posts about news, his surroundings, and national bloggers. With his background in reporting, it was a pleasant surprise to learn he was such a conservative ... so many reporters being in the liberal camp and all ... but it can be intimidating as heck to have a reporter in your midst! As he became more involved in blogging, he introduced "Sheeples" and "The Other McCain" and "Troglopundit" into SWAC's terminology. Some days his song parodies have me laughing out loud at my computer but his recent vacation to the Outer Banks left me nostalgic for sandy beaches and sea oats. Leave it to Mike to stir up the emotions!
Jason, whom I've known almost as long as Phil, took up blogging as The Augusta Water Cooler, offering his thoughts on subjects local and beyond, using the radio experience from his college days for the occasional blog talk radio added in for interest. A military veteran who brings his Maine-New England perspective to the Valley, he also has the unique experience of being a boots-on-the-ground cop. Lately that has curtailed his blogging considerably as work has demanded more of his time. Hopefully, it will change in the near future and he will have more time to hit the keyboard because we need more of his common sense commentary. Jason doesn't mince words ... he gives it to you straight and honest.
The Augusta Conservative blog is only five months old and offers the thoughts of the youngest SWAC blogger, David, who has a passion for politics, writing, and life in general. His day job as a cardiac nurse contributes to his interest in posting about health care especially at this time of national debate about that subject. He also keeps an eye on local spending by elected representatives, and has shown a desire for public office, something that may be down the road for him. And with a large family spread throughout Augusta County, he has a built-in grassroots network. Meanwhile, he brings a youthful energy that helps stir up the local blogging scene.
Bob over at The Journey is not considered a political blog but he covers political issues and Christianity as well as displaying his artwork and writings. He often offers photos of the world around us -- up-close pictures of flowers and trees ... interesting shadows and lighting on walkways and buildings ... objects of interest he sees while on his mountain hikes -- as he observes and preserves a unique perspective that many of us miss in our rush through life. He and I share a home school background as well as the desire to see a beautiful entranceway to the Shenandoah Valley at Afton Mountain. In keeping with his architectural/artist background, he laid out a design to build a memorable gateway at that juncture of the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. He can often be found in his Kirchman Studio crafting architectural renderings and scale models for businesses worldwide.
And I'm Lynn who blogs as SWAC Girl, an acronym for "Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta County," which is our corner of the Shenandoah Valley. My blog came to life in the summer of 2006 during the George Allen campaign. Though we were not successful in winning that election, I had caught the blogging bug and have been at it ever since. A political junkie who enjoys writing, blogging to me is like writing a letter to the editor every day of the week. A side enjoyment has come from carrying my camera everywhere and taking photos to share of the world around me that includes mountain views and flowers in my yard and political events.
I am blogging in a man's world and grateful for what I have learned from these guys. Each is unique ... each brings something different to the table ... each personality is special ... yet our political viewpoints are very similar. To borrow Mike's sub-title, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, we are "proud members of the SWAC Corps ... making America better by blogging." And our keyboards march onward....