Race is on for Person of the Year

July 10, 2005|by TIM SHEA

I am going to throw my name in the ring.

No, I'm not going to seek Paul Sarbanes' seat in the U.S. Senate. I'm not really good at driving in Washington, D.C.

And I'm not seeking to join the Washington County Commissioners or the county's school board. I'm not really good at driving in Washington County, either.

Rather, I am taking today to announce my candidacy for The Herald-Mail's Person of the Year, which will be announced Jan. 1, 2006.


Herald-Mail Editor and Publisher John League said that in naming a Person of the Year, The Herald-Mail tries to recognize good work and let others know about it.

"A lot of people do a lot of good in the community and they don't get a lot of thanks," League said when James G. Piern was named Person of the Year in 2003.

OK, so I don't qualify under that set of criteria. It's going to be a long, uphill battle then, but I am going to list some of my better qualities that would make me, Tim Shea, The Herald-Mail's Person of the Year.

I'm thinking ... thinking ... thinking ...

OK, I don't have any better qualities, so the battle is going to be that much longer and more uphill than I thought.

I guess my biggest qualification for this award can be summed up in one word: Potential.

My father, former Hagerstown Community College President Norman P. Shea, was named The Herald-Mail's Person of the Year for 2001.

In the story about Stormin' Norman being named Person of the Year, the following words were used to describe him: Visionary. Committed. Accessible. Friendly. Tireless. Consistent. Humble. Funny.

Let me see if I can compare myself to that.

Tireless? No. Sleeping is one of my favorite hobbies.

Friendly? No. My favorite phrase around here is "Leave me alone. I'm busy."

Visionary, Consistent, Humble? No, no and no.

Committed? Maybe. I've had people say I should be committed.

Anyway, I'll be going door to door in the county between naps trying to get the vote out. I'm really looking forward to the Pinesburg Primary and the Cascade Caucus later in the year. If I have any shot at an upset, I'm going to have to come up with a strong showing early in the campaign.

I have assembled a strong team that will help carry me to victory. My campaign manager, Cuddles the guinea pig, believes in my vision for the future. At least I think that's what he (or she?) is saying between bites of dandelion leaves.

Honestly, I really want that beautiful crystal bowl that goes with winning the award. I need to put something on top of my big-screen television next to the fantasy hockey trophy I won last year.

Fantasy hockey? Well, now I finally have a qualification that The Person of the Year Committee can examine. I won the trophy after the 2003-04 NHL season, and I successfully defended my title this year.

Well, I've just found out that nominations will be accepted for The Herald-Mail's Person of the Year. Something about some kind of committee getting together later in the year and reviewing nominations, then voting for their choice.

I think it's time for Cuddles to get out of the cage and learn to write.

Tim Shea is a Herald-Mail copy editor. He may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2329, or by e-mail at

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