Media Frenzy

Well, maybe not frenzy, but some awfully nice coverage my all measures.

  • A gifted local blogette, Liz Luby, did a wonderful writeup on one of our favorite places, Camp Edwards YMCA.  Camp Edwards is one of those fantastic places that changes kids’ lives to the point that they are having too good of a time to understand those changes for years to come.

Camp Edwards is a place of firsts for kids; the first time they shot an arrow, the first time they sailed a boat, the first time they climbed a wall, and the first time they swam in open water.  The Buck Island Swim is a Camp tradition, and it has taught any number of nervous kids that they can confront a challenge and knock it down.  I was one of those kids in 1967.

Fast forward 44 years, and this summer I have had the pleasure of going up to Camp every Thursday evening this summer to meet the kids planning on swimming to Buck Island, and then swimming it with them on Friday morning.  It has been great fun.

Liz managed to tie Camp and the lesson of Buck Island in with A Long Swim.  She, with a big alley-oop from Susan, wrote a beautiful article about the experience, which should be read at  If it doesn’t make you want to send your kids to Camp Edwards, or to go back to summer camp yourself, read it again.

  • Everyone in Chicago will remember a long-time news anchor named John Drury.  John was Chicago’s answer to Walter Cronkite, and delivered the news in the same trustworthy way.  Unfortunately, John died from complications of Lou Gehrig’s disease about three years ago.

John’s very close friend and fellow newsman/Chicago icon is a guy named Frank Mathie.  Frank heard about A Long Swim from a close friend of ours and contacted me back when the snow was on the ground.  He said that he wanted to produce a story about A Long Swim for the evening news.  Frank wanted to get some good footage of me swimming in Lake Michigan, so we knew it would be a wait.

Last week, the day arrived.  We met Frank and his cameraman, Steve, at Ohio Street Beach, and had a quick lesson on how to put together a human interest news segment.  It was all very interesting, and was made totally comfortable by Frank and his friendly manner.  To our surprise, Frank said that it would be on the 5:00 news that afternoon, and “if it is a slow news day,” again at 10:00 p.m.  My plan that day was to be talking to some age-group swimmers, so Susan and the kids recorded the Channel 7 news for me.  We stayed up late to watch the 10:00 news, and they played some excerpts of it again.

Channel 7 played it again a couple of times over this last weekend, and it is amazing how many people have mentioned it to me.  Other ABC affiliates must be picking it up, too, as I received an email from a long lost college roommate who saw it in New Jersey.

Thank you, Frank Mathie.

See you at the beach.  I will report back.