It begins…

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The stories have been filed, the photos shot. Heds written, cutlines inserted. Ads have been sold and placed, the boxes painted and waiting for their bounty in the morning.

The first one is always tough. There’s just so many decisions that have to be made. But most of them only have to be made once… until it’s time to make them again. Things do not go smoothly, at least not in my experience, and this is the fourth start-up I’ve helped birth.

But this one went pretty well. Jorge muscled it out there at the end, stretching a short cover story to fill the hole with original artwork. The fault is mine entirely. Good thing my man can draw.

The pages are going off to the printer as I type.

It’s crazy, this thing we’re doing over here at the Nussbaum Center: Throwing our cash together and trying to make a go of it, trusting that a newspaper, of all things, can flourish in the Piedmont Triad.

But this is where I live. And this is what I do. For me, it seems like not only the right thing to do, but the only thing.

So many have lent aid and support as we’ve gotten this media company off the ground. The crop of advertisers in tomorrow’s paper bought space with us when we didn’t have a product to sell. Our friends created original works of art as distribution vehicles for our paper — look for them on the streets of the Triad tomorrow, with more coming every week.

Friends in the cities have called in support or issued exclamation point-laden emails with encouragement and advice. My people in the newspaper industry have taken late-night, frantic phone calls seeking counsel or sympathy.

Our families endured the ridiculous hours necessary to launch a venture like this, humored us when we scraped out our savings accounts to get the nut together. We’re looking forward to getting reacquainted with them.

Because this baby is, as we say in the business, put to bed.

Lots more to do: Load the website with tomorrow’s content, knock out some announcements and instructions, finalize the routes. And then the papers come off the line at 6 a.m.

All I can say is this: I’ve never felt this way before in my life.

Thank you to all who made this possible.

And I’ll see you tomorrow.