Seventeen years is a long time, even for a Twinkie. I thought about that as my seventeenth annual box of birthday Twinkies arrived in the mail last month. My sister Pat, who now lives in
, has dutifully sent me a box of Hostess Twinkies, accompanied by a pack of birthday candles every year since 1995. St. Augustine Beach
This birthday Twinkie tradition started right here in HoCo with a column I wrote for a now defunct newspaper. In 1994, a fellow named Ed Pickett tried to buck the trend of declining newspaper readership by launching
first ever daily newspaper. He called it the Columbia Daily Tribune. Howard Counties
It lasted three months.
I had met Ed in 1992 when he rolled into town and started a monthly business publication originally called the Columbia Business Journal. I don’t know how he got my name but he invited me to meet him for a drink at Piccolo’s (now Three Brothers Pizza) and asked me to write a column for his paper. After being threatened with a lawsuit by the Baltimore Business Journal, Ed changed the name to the Columbia Business Monthly, which was eventually shortened to The Business Monthly.
Ed was a bit of bit of restless character and by 1994, with The Business Monthly actually making money, he decided to start a daily paper. The problem was he tried to do this with very little capital. By the time the paper “suspended” publication he owed money all over town and he soon left for greener pastures.
I stayed in touch with Ed for a few years after that. He ended up in
Maine where he started the Bangor Business Monthly which, eventually grew to include monthly business papers in Penobscot Bay and Kennebec under the banner of The Maine Business Monthly Group. Those papers ceased publication in May of 2001 due to declining advertising revenue. Undeterred, he then moved to to try and start another daily paper called the Portland Morning Sun. It lasted for thirteen issues. Last I heard he was living in Pittsburgh. Portland
Through all of this, the birthday Twinkies have endured. You can read this months column here.