The big question you are all of course waiting for me to answer is, were they good? And my answer is, actually, yeah, some were. Maybe slightly dated, given that I referred to email, in one of them, as a "relatively new technology." Either way, some that I remembered being good were not so good, but a few that I didn't remember at all were pretty decent.
You'll just have to take my word for it, because at the time I worked there, the Daily Progress didn't archive stories on its web site. This was a source of great frustration to us writers at the time, but honestly, maybe it's for the best. This way I can tell you that I wrote some really solid stuff back then and you have to believe me. (Although, I guess some will believe me and some won't. This is why I found myself in the 99-cent store photocopying the paper copies of a few of the stories today: to provide one such doubter with proof. There is a higher threshold of proof in some quarters.)
At this point, the truly curious reader does have one other recourse: If you google me just the right way, you can find stories of mine that random people copy/pasted onto random web sites. Like, the Rivanna Trails Foundation has a story I wrote about the Rivanna Trail. By the looks of it, I wrote it either just before or just after a very long Friday lunch. Upon finding this story the other day, I figured I could save myself a bunch of photocopying time if I could just find some of the old stories online that I actually liked. This led to a spiral of self-googling and, at the bottom of that, a deep existentialist dread brought on by the vastness and depth of the internet.
Long story short, I didn't find any of the good stories. I found a strange one about a guinea fowl named Peep who appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell Show. I found some people (who I hadn't really forgotten about) who think I conspired to get a Republican elected to the City Council -- which makes perfect sense, right? And, most intriguing, I found this: a blog post, written in Charlottesville, about a different blog post I wrote in New York, for the Times. It's a little hard to explain why exactly that link made my head spin, but I'll try.
(Tangent 1: The dude who wrote that blog post must not have been paying his hosting bills, because it seems to have been taken down. But I'm hoping that the magic of Google cache will keep it viewable for a little while longer. If not, I'll summarize: In my post for the Times, I referred to Charlottesville's bygone yellow bike program. This blogger saw that post, and my mention of having lived in Charlottesville, and wondered where I used to work when I was in town.)
(Tangent 2: This wasn't what made my head spin, but I was nonplussed to read the comments at the end of that post, in which somebody proclaims, "I have it on the best authority that Mooney is a total arse. LMFAO." I don't remember offending any British people down there. Still, I'm sure it's possible or even likely. Those were the days before I was saved by the love of a good woman.)
(Tangent 3: This commenter is great:
30 Nov 2007 at 5:35 pm