All About Bob
 
Bob Maginnis worked as a newspaper writer for more than 30 years and won the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association’s First Prize for writing excellence four times. As editorial page editor of The Hagerstown Herald-Mail newspaper for 25 years, he wrote editorials almost every day and a signed column twice a week. Since his retirement, he has written free-lance articles about local business, including breaking the story (for Smart Company magazine) about Staples’ decision to install one of the largest solar-panel fields in the region.
 
As a member of various nonprofit agencies’ boards of directors, including Goodwill, the Washington County Biog Brothers and the Parent-Child Center, he wrote a variety of material, including speeches, fund-raising appeals and letters to grant agencies and media outlets. He has also written ad copy, eulogies, obituaries and short-story fiction.
Tutored early on by old school editors who didn’t mind hurting his feelings, he learned to work quickly and accurately and to treat his sources fairly and with respect. Part of paying them that respect, he says, is to listen when they speak, even after they’ve answered all of his questions. Continuing to listen, he believes, is what allows people to relax and reveal what is important about issues they care about and their lives.
 
In the 1980s, working with the Maryland Extension Service, he wrote a weekly garden column for five years. When The Herald-Mail suggested that its employees begin blogging, he rejected the oft-used practice of sharing random thoughts in favor of reviving the garden column. He enrolled in the Washington County Master Gardener’s program, passed the course, and began a blog that offered real information, as opposed to uniformed opinion.
 
Now, retired from the newspaper, he’s decided to revive the column for a third time, this time on the Wordz and Pics Web site. He hopes that you read it and find it enjoyable and informative.