From 1 to 500. It All Started with Elizabeth Holmes.

Yes, this is the 500th contribution I am making to the pages of ChicagoNow. My blog, first known as “Downside, Maybe” joined the Chicago Tribune network in October of 2015. My first topic? Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos. You know, the blonde CEO who is currently on trial in San Jose, California for bamboozling investors and the public.

And though it may feel like I have wound up where I started, I think I have said a lot in those 500 blogs, those roughly quarter of a million words.

What started as a cataloging of the stresses of building a modern, stylish, empty nest home in suburban Chicago, has come to be (at least to me) so much more.

It has been a love song to my family, as that family has grown, while also giving me a chance to look back at those I have lost through the years. I have honored mentors and vilified a nemesis or two. I have welcomed, and said goodbye to, various 4-pawed family members, and described walking through our neighborhood in their company.

I have written of all the politics, as many of us moved from mocking Donald Trump to fearing him, the tropes he spouts, and the troops he spawns. I berated Hillary Clinton for her losing campaign, but I am not sure that I ever congratulated Joe Biden for his winning one.

I have let you know what I think about music and art, about movies, television, and my first love, the theater. You read about it when we pedaled in Hanoi, noshed in New York, and bought a time-share in Mexico. And you cruised the tollway with me as I described my daily commute in my embezzler’s Beemer and its successors.

I have written in free verse and in haiku. I have sent you song lyrics and raps. I have asked for your help in getting jobs (host of Jeopardy!, Tribune columnist) and I have given you my thoughts on health and medicine.

As a physician, my first motto is primum non nocerefirst, do no harm. I have tried to remember those words when advocating PSA testing, pushing immunizations (well before COVID), and explaining just what it is like to be a pathologist.

The best part? Connecting with friends, old and new, and hearing back from so many readers. Nothing is more rewarding than having one of you relate what a particular post meant to you or referencing an obscure point from something I had written months ago. Yes, I have been heckled, but most responses have been positive, friendly, and informative.

So let me know what blogs you have liked and what you haven’t. And I promise you–the show will go on!

500 more
500 more
I hope that you will read
500 more!
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