Barry I. Friedman

media, music, more ...

A Global Podcast Turns Very Local

Strange things happened Friday. I listened to a podcast and art became reality in ways that involved a local musician and a sappy song that evoked an unexpected response in me.

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Precision in Reporting

When I formed LkldNow in 2015, I became a reporter again after 38 years as an editor. 

At first, it felt like it was taking me longer to write articles than  when I was a fresh-out-of-college rookie in the mid-1970s. I thought it was because I was re-learning the craft — and that might have been true.

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Bicycle Tour Gives a Close-Up View of Vietnam

There’s no place in Florida to adequately train for a bicycle ride up a long mountain trail like the spectacular climb to the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam. The ride takes you up 1,627 feet from nearly sea level, through a lush forest, to a windy overlook with photo-inspiring views of the South China Sea. The abandoned bunkers at the pass are sober reminders that French and then American soldiers fought there in the mid 20th Century.

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Where Did the Lkld Hashtag Come From, Anyway?

I’ve felt a bit like a proud parent as I’ve watched more businesses and organizations in Lakeland include the abbreviation Lkld in their names and online identities.

LkldNow, the news website I founded, wasn’t the first; I believe LkldTV gets that honor. But I was there when some early Twitter adopters decided more than eight years ago to formalize use of #lkld to identify posts about Lakeland.

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Sunshine Skyway — 35 Lives, 35 Years

Skyway book

It’s been 35 years, but I have vivid memories of the morning of May 9, 1980. I left home for my job as city editor of The Tampa Times during a blinding rain. Fearing flooding on my usual scenic route of Bayshore Boulevard, I took the higher-ground Crosstown Expressway instead.

As I approached the door of the newspaper building around 8 a.m., the early-morning copy editing crew was leaving; they had put out the first street-sales edition of the afternoon newspaper and were heading for breakfast before diving into the home edition.

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