Columns and Blogs

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Columns and blogs will always hold a special place in my writing repertoire. They allow me to share a few personal experience as a way to connect with my readers on a deeper level, while also allowing a bit of my personality and sense of humor to shine through.

I wrote my first newspaper column when I was a sophomore in high school. In the30-plus years since then, I have written thousands of columns and blog entries on a variety of topics. Some of the columns were written to make my readers laugh, others were written to urge my readers to take action. Along the way, my columns received various award recognition.

Choosing favorite columns to highlight on this page, however, proved a daunting task. Below you will find several selected entries from my opinion writing catalog. Additional examples of my columns and blogs are available on the blog tab of this website. They can also be found on the other websites I write for under the other sites tab above.

-Ryan Anderson

(Friendswood Journal September 6, 2000)

A Crash Course in Texas Meat – or How I Learned About Brisket

I wrote this column shortly after relocating from Florida to Texas. It was part of a series of “is everything really bigger and better in Texas” articles. It was also part of a submission that garnered a third-place award in humorous columns in a statewide competition.

It should be noted, that while I now know what brisket is, I still prefer pulled pork over brisket, and prefer Florida over Texas.

(Pearland Journal September 13, 2000)

Record Heat Leads to Parking Lot Experiment

Like the brisket column above, this column on trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk during a heat wave was part of my award-winning submission in the category of humorous column writing. Of course, my editor joked at the time that the two columns could just as easily have been entered in the food writing category.

While I can neither confirm nor deny that I most often write when I am hungry, I can confirm that trying to fry an egg on concrete is a very messy process.

( February 5, 2014)

Tinker Field’s Fate Likely Sealed by Progress

Writing this column about Tinker Field helped me reconnect with some great memories from growing up in Florida. It also made me sad to think that the ballpark that provided all of those memories would not be around for future generations.

The steamroller of progress is constantly in motion, and it does not care what gets squashed under its giant roller. Thankfully, memories are immune from the steamroller and last long after the buildings which created the memories are gone.

( August 21, 2020

Dr Pepper Shortage Shows 2020 Loves to Give Until it Hurts Before Giving a Little More

If someone told me in Journalism School that one day I would be writing about a global pandemic, I would have likely laughed and said something like, “Surely the United States of America would be prepared for such a thing, to the point it would be a mere blip on the pages of history books.”

Fast forward 20 years, and I have written more about the ravages of COVID-19 than I ever would have thought. Or wanted to.

For this column I looked at the impacts on the global supply chain, not realizing the issues faced in 2020 would in many ways be even worse in 2021.

( August 5, 2020

COVID-19 is Changing Where Journalists Work, But Not Why They Work

One of the more fascinating elements of the COVID-19 pandemic for me was the way journalists were able to transition from reporting from the studio or out in the field, to reporting from a room in their houses.

Thanks to technology, journalists continued to bring needed information into the homes of millions of viewers. For this column, I pondered what my background would be for a Zoom dinner party with two of my journalistic inspirations, were it to happen.

( July 5, 2021)

A Patriotic Ode to the Hot Dog

For this column, I combined my love of hot dogs with my love of watching live baseball and really bite into the American love affair with cylindrical meat in a bun.

Baseball and hot dogs are two things that go great together. Whenever I am at the Ballpark I definitely make sure to have a hot dog to enhance the game time experience.

( December 6, 2021)

Pearl Harbor at 80: Fewer and Fewer Heroes Left Alive from Day That Will Live in Infamy

This column about the 80th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor holds special significance for me since my grandfather, J. Howard Kirby, survived the attack.

He died in 1980 when I was too young to know what questions to ask him about his experience from that day.

Every day, more and more World War II veterans die. Soon, ta time will come when no one is left from the Greatest Generation. It is important for me that I do my part to ensure people remember the brave actions taken that day so many years ago.

The day will live on in infamy, but it will be up to future generations to ensure it is never forgotten.

( April 29, 2015)

Orioles Rout White Sox and No One is There to Hear

When I wrote this column in 2015, the idea of a baseball game taking place inside an empty ballpark was considered a once in a lifetime thing which would just be a sidenote of baseball history.

Fast forward five years, and thanks to COVID-19, entire seasons of multiple sports were played inside empty ballparks, stadiums, and arenas, turning what was once a side note into the new normal.

( August 12, 2020

Dinosaurs can Teach us a Lot About Sports and Pandemic Response

Like many people, I spent much of the shutdown portion of the COVID-19 pandemic learning new things. I completed a Masters Program during the first 10 months of the pandemic and even took some remote learning courses on various topics of interest.

One of the course I took was Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology from the University of Alberta. That course, along with a lifelong fascination with dinosaurs, played a role in writing this column comparing dinosaurs to the COVID-19 pandemic.

( December 8, 2021

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane one Story at a Time

For this column, I take a look at the past, present, and future of my writing to discuss the process that brought together this very portfolio.

As noted in the column, even though I have been writing professionally for over 30 years, I am just getting started with the stories I hope to tell through my writing.