Lost Journal: The Last Journal

Say it ain’t so, Tim! We’ve enjoyed every single “Lost Journal” column, and we wish Tim Mollen the very best! — ed.

Journal entry: August 30, 2015 (age 46) – The Last Lost Journal

Well, here it is: my “last journal” entry.

More than ten years ago, on January 1, 2004, my first humor column was published in my hometown newspaper, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. A year-and-a-half later, on July 14, 2005, I began a regular, weekly column called “Lost Journal.”

Over the next few years, it was picked up by three more papers in New York State: The Ithaca Journal, The Elmira Star-Gazette, and The Cortland Standard. They were followed by a dozen newspapers in Illinois, one in California, and the online Humor Times. For a time, the column was distributed to several hundred papers via the Gatehouse News Service.

The nonsense piled up, until I had enough material to put together a book. Eventually, I had enough to publish two books. By the time I had enough columns to fill three books, I finally defeated the forces of procrastination. I spent the better part of a year editing, designing, and self-publishing these three volumes:

  • Lost Journal Vol. 1: Confessions of a Failed Paperboy
  • Lost Journal Vol. 2: Five Older Brothers, Twenty Bad Jobs, and Zero Dates
  • Lost Journal Vol. 3: Some Lives Are Funnier than Others

There are a total of 270 columns in the books, and each is accompanied by a color photo. One of the most enjoyable parts of the process was digging out the goofiest pictures I could find in the family archives, and taking some equally goofy new ones.

The best/worst image of all is on the cover of the first book. It’s a formal portrait taken at Olan Mills in 1979. My scrawny, pale, red-haired, and bespectacled self is sitting in the foreground. Using double exposure, my brother Dan’s unhappy brace-face looms over and to the right of me, as though I were conjuring up the god of pre-teen awkwardness.

Because I’m a glutton for punishment, and recognize that my regular readers obviously are, as well, I also recorded audio versions of 12 of my best columns for a CD called Lost Journal Classics. This allowed me to add, among other things, my impression of a pig at the trough, a lousy Spanish accent, and a pretty decent “announcer quickly and quietly rattling off the contraindications for a prescription drug” impression.

I’m writing this week’s column to let my faithful readers know that the books are available through my website, timmollen.com. I also just completed the eBook versions, which are available for your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone through Amazon.com. The first eBook is only $1.99.

But this final column also gives me a chance to say some overdue thank yous. Thank you to the editors of this newspaper for sharing my work. Thanks to the folks who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that led to the books. Thank you to Dina Good for the fantastic book cover designs. As always, thank you to my family for putting up with all the embarrassing stories and photos, and for providing me with so many great memories and stories.

Finally, thank you, dear readers. I read every e-mail and appreciate every bit of feedback – in grocery stores, restaurants, and parking lots (but not in public restrooms). I’m always grateful for the opportunity to share some laughs and smiles with you.

Tim Mollen
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