Last week I tweeted that “97 percent of my life is just showing up places and acting like I belong there.” That’s clearly a joke, but there’s definitely some truth to it.

I went to a handful of meetings this week, and I talked to judges, politicians, financial consultants, musicians and I’m trying to set up a meeting with a beekeeper. I don’t think any of them could tell that I was winging it most of the time.

It made me think of this tweet, and again it made me laugh so much — I laugh at myself all the time. I’m hilarious.

I’m always finding humor in everything because everything is ridiculous if you think about it enough. As the managing editor of this paper, people expect me to be an expert on everything that’s going on in my community. That’s a tall task.

I know a lot, but I don’t know everything. I can’t possibly know everything.

I have people who call me — sometimes they are mad, but whatever, that’s cool — and they’ll say, “Hey, why haven’t you written a story about blah, blah?” and it’ll be the first time I’ve ever heard about it.

But, that’s one of the things that I like about this profession. To be a journalist, you’re expected to be an expert on every single thing. So, as a byproduct of that, I know a lot about many different things. I know enough to get me in trouble, enough to get me to do more research and enough for me to continue the conversation and keep asking questions.

I love writing, too, because everything is interesting to me. Everybody has a story to tell, and it matters to them, so it should matter to me.

I think it has a lot to do with how I was raised.

I grew up in family that always talked, asked questions, read and discussed what they found out.

So, I love asking people questions. I enjoy talking to people and asking them about their day, making them laugh and keeping the conversation going.

I get that last part from my dad.


My dad is the type of person who will walk up to you, ask you questions about yourself and then remember the answers you give. He genuinely cares about what you say. That’s amazing, right?

There’s no such thing as small talk with him because everything is important and he’s interested in everything you say.

I love that about him, and it’s something that I see in myself now that I’ve grown up a bit.

He’s also got this super dry and unassuming sense of humor about him, too. He’s just a caring person, and someone I’ve always looked up to — even though he’s like 5-foot-4 and I outgrew him in fifth grade.

I grew up watching my dad own and operate a pharmacy in Piedmont — talk about someone who is an expert at their profession. My dad has always been the smartest person I know. He’s the smartest person in most rooms, but he’s never going to beat you over the head with that. Instead, he’ll sit back and ask you for your opinion. He’s a big presence in any room, even in his 5-foot-4 frame.

I don’t think he’s ever not “belonged there,” and maybe I’ll feel like that one day, too.

Happy Father’s Day, John Roberts.

Bradley Roberts is managing editor of the Times-Journal. His email address is

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