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World’s Strongest Librarian Is Six Months Old!

Dearest Reader,

Thank you!Today–like most days–I’m in your debt.  But especially today. World’s Strongest Librarian is six months old.  I cannot believe how much has happened in six months.  I do the writing, but without the readers, there wouldn’t be much going on here.

When I wrote Librarian Is A State Of Mind, I knew that something wonderful was happening here.  A community was growing.  A group of people who were all interested in learning, lifting, laughing, and being more than they could be on their own. 

You may have learned some things from me.  I’ve certainly learned from you.  Hopefully you’ll continue to learn from each other and we’ll all be here for a long, long time.

A Few Numbers That Might Interest You

  • Traffic to World’s Strongest Librarian has doubled each month except for one. It’s going to double again in October, at least
  • In October nearly 16,000 unique visitors have shown up already
  • There were over 79,000 page views last week
  • We’re at 2,902 comments and counting
  • RSS numbers continue to go up – 659 subscribers as of this writing
  • Unprecedented scientific breakthroughs = 1, but it was a big one
  • This is the 199th post I’ve published in six months (not counting guest posts)
  • Copies of Todoodlist sold = 15 (I’ve got a while before I have to dance🙂
  • Guest posts I’ve written = 50+
  • One almost book deal.  More on this very soon (hopefully!)
  • Friends I’ve made = more than I can count, more than I deserve

Who Are You?

There is no slowing down.  There is no backing off.  We are here to stay and you are to thank for it.

To celebrate, I’d like to ask you a question.  Who are you? If you are reading this today, will you please leave a comment with as many of these things as you’re comfortable with:

  • Your name
  • Why you’re reading the blog
  • Something you have done that you are proud of

I want everyone to get a good look at the amazing group of eclectic, talented, inspiring, smart, strong, and sometimes flat-out weird (that’s me) people that are hanging out here.

This is not my blog, friend.  It is our blog.  Yours and mine.  Spread the word.  Movements need movers.

Thank you so much for visiting today and always.

Who are you?


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  • Michelle October 12, 2009, 2:48 am

    I’m an academic librarian in Dubai. I found your site via an LIS RSS feed & subscribed. I read the blog because it’s hip and it nicely breaks up all the depressing RSS news I normally get about Google Books and library closures.

    The things I’m most proud of are getting my MSc and all the extra pages in my passport (I’ve been to 25 countries and one disputed territory so far, not counting the country I’m from).

  • Lori Gordon October 12, 2009, 3:12 am

    I am sooo happy that I found this super inspiring writing blog (you ROCK Josh!), proud that I was techno savvy enough to figure out how to load it into Google reader so that I can read it first thing — bright and early — each morning, and super duper proud that I just published my novella Degrees of Freedom!

    And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

  • Mike CJ October 12, 2009, 3:38 am

    Josh, congratulations on successfully negotiating the hardest period for a new blog – the first six months!

    I love this blog of ours because it’s so different!

    The thing I’m most proud of is the (ongoing) restoration of my 150 year old house.

  • Robby G October 12, 2009, 4:21 am

    Hey Josh, glad to hear about all the success. It’s real cool to see bloggers rise like this, especially ones you kinda feel like you know real well. I wish you all the best and hopefully all those number double and tripple for the next 6 months to come.

    I’m proud of pushing myself to make a blog that helps people directly with their dating issues. I feel like I’m actually doing something good here. Weird feeling, I gotta say 😛
    Cheers mate and all the best!

  • Greg October 12, 2009, 5:02 am

    Congratulations! Glad to hear about the success. You’re obviously working hard, so you’re earning it! As for why I read this blog, that’s easy — the writing is entertaining and informative. You have a knack for connecting with your readers.

    What am I proud of? Being a husband and father. My wife and kids are, bar none, the most important part of my life.

  • IthacaJake October 12, 2009, 5:18 am

    Congratulations Josh!! You have been a great source of inspiration to me in the last few months. I’m proud of you!

    Something I’m proud of myself for? Sticking with several things in my life that are both challenging and rewarding (Kettlebells, long-distance cycling, martial arts). I noticed that RSS version has different questions 🙂

  • Stefan October 12, 2009, 5:47 am

    Congratulations Josh. I have noticed there are more people getting in to discussion every day, so I’m sure the positive trend will continue.

    I was referred to this blog through the Problogger-forum when I found out about your idea on writing guest posts. Then I read a few of your posts and thought they were great since you have a fantastic flow in your text. Thanks to this I decided to subscribe. This blog also has great theme and header, which is just positive.

    I would say two things. For the first I’m proud to have started my own company. The second thing would be that I’m great with people. For some lovely reason people really entrust me which is great in several ways.

  • Ayelet October 12, 2009, 6:03 am

    Congrats! I was first attracted to the blog because of a review you did about Zombie books, I believe. And your posts just always give me something interesting to think about or comment on… I can’t stop coming back!

    One thing I’m especially proud of is having left our safe, comfortable environment in the States to move to Munich (neither my husband or I know German, or have ever visited Germany). The experience already has broadened my perspective, and I hope it continues to do so.

  • Hazra October 12, 2009, 7:08 am

    Congratulations, Josh! I really like your blog, you are a prolific blogger and a really funny guy too.

    What I am I proud of? Well, my blog for one. And sticking with doing some things that are difficult, yet rewarding.

  • Casey October 12, 2009, 7:23 am

    Well done sir, well done. You seem to have one of those websites that people just gravitate too!

    I came to this blog from problogger.net from a guest post. I was initally excited about another amatuer fitness blogger in Utah. After a few post I came to realize that this site wasn’t a niche site like mine, but was still something I could use as a role model.

    I’m proud of my desk, it’s nice and clean at the moment…

  • Nikki H. October 12, 2009, 7:24 am

    I can’t remember how I found your blog – I read a lot of blogs by librarians. I got hooked on it b/c of your great stories, your great sense of humor, and the fact that you put equal emphasis on physical and mental fitness. I’m not a gym rat yet, but I aspire to be.

    Hmmm…something I’m proud of…well, I just finished my first 6 months as a brand-new children’s librarian. Some of the hardest and and most fun work I’ve done to date.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 7:39 am

      @Nikki: I know some children’s librarians who didn’t make it past six months. And I know some who have been doing it for years and still love it. All the best to you and those kids.

      @Casey: I hope your desk brings you many happy, uncluttered memories:)

      @Hazra: I’m proud of your blog, too. It’s smart, cool, and I love the way it looks. I’m still planning on that guest post.

      @Ayelet: How did you choose Munich?

      @Stefan: What is your company? Being good with people will take you far, my friend.

      @ithacajake: Sticking with kettlebells is enough for me, but you have a lot of great things going on. I’m really glad to have met you here.

      @Greg: You couldn’t have said it better. I feel the same way about my family.

      @Robby G: It’s a great feeling once you’re doing something that you feel is worth doing. Congrats to you.

      @Mike CJ: Are you doing the restoration yourself? Are there pictures?

      @Lori: Oh, there’s nothing better than finishing a writing project. And you’re right–there’s a lot of year left. Who knows whatever amazing exploits you’ll get up to in the next 10 weeks?

      @Michele: I want a passport like that! I’d be proud, too.

      • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 7:50 am

        By the way, have you guys noticed that I now have 666 RSS subscribers, and it’s all happening in Month 6 of the blog? The final phase is now beginning….

  • Victoria Vargas October 12, 2009, 7:53 am

    Hey, Josh. Congrats! Six months is a huge accomplishment and shows your dedication to stay the course. About three months ago I found your blog listed on the blogroll of Man vs. Debt (I think that’s where I saw it). As a book addict I had to check it out and have been happily reading your blog with my morning coffee ever since. What am I most proud of? Well, a couple things make me smile when I ask myself that question. I’m an archaeologist and architectural historian and it’s been a long, zany road to where I am today. I’m proud of sticking with it when it got tough and having the courage to stop living a gypsy life with frequent moves to chase projects and work. I made the commitment to put down roots in one place and returned to Arizona where I went back to work for a company where I worked as a grad student years ago. Five years later, I’m head of a historical resources group my boss let me start up in her company, owner of my own home, proud mama of a little rescue cat named Cricket, and have a fabulous circle of friends. All the travel and moving was exciting, but putting down roots and commiting to building a life in one place is something I’m extremely proud of. You keep me inspired to keep up the good work even when times are tough. You’re a gift to all your readers. Thanks!

  • Ben (from TIC) October 12, 2009, 8:38 am

    Congratulations mijn vriend.

    The end is nigh. Let’s see if there’s 777 subscribers next month!

    I’m proud of getting married, especially since I thought I wouldn’t ever get married.

  • Stephanie Smith October 12, 2009, 8:54 am

    That is amazing Josh! The written word is a powerful magnet and you have proven time & again to have a knack for writing and more importantly, CONNECTING, with your readers.
    When I come to your site, I feel like part of a community-think “Cheers” analogy, without the beer and the bar.haha I feel comfortable coming here and sharing a part of myself. I look forward to your posts -that is saying something.
    As for me, who am I? The many faces of Stephanie: ex-nurse, Harley chick,in love with a man who makes me better because he loves me, dog lover, charity event coordinator, ex-felon…the list is long.
    I am most proud that I am enrolled in online college to get my Bachelor’s and I am looking for a new job, away from my father and all the negativity in my current position.
    Life is topsy turvy right now, but a librarian I know once said, at least I am making choices. Things won’t change tommorow, but they WILL change, because I have started down a new path.
    You have much to be proud of too Josh -you have created something unique and eclectic and with that, you leave a mark in our hearts.
    Ok that was mushy, but I DO have a soft side, believe it or not. 🙂
    So…get your motor runnin this Monday and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
    Stephanie Smith

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 8:56 am

      @Stephanie. right back at you. What degree are you working on?

      @Ben: How long have you been married for?

      @Victoria: Thanks. What is a rescue cat?

  • Stephanie Smith October 12, 2009, 9:02 am

    @Josh: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration w/ a focus on Healthcare. Since I am not sure Alabama will endorse my nursing license here to to that conviction, I decided to combine the skills I use now (as an office manager of a day labor temp service) with my passion for nursing and healthcare to perhaps get an administrative position. P.S. Rescue animals are usually gotten from the local shelter. People who get the pets from the shelters are awesome!

  • Stephanie Smith October 12, 2009, 9:02 am

    Oh-plus I wanna grow up and be a blogger like you. 🙂

  • Warren Talbot October 12, 2009, 9:03 am

    Josh, I am loving the blog and your openness is inspiring us to be better bloggers by providing greater insights into our experiences, fears, and loves. We will continue to be avid followers because you make us laugh out loud, consider new ideas, and think about new problems. Thank you!

    As for me, my name is Warren Talbot. I am most proud of our decision to leave the “normal path” of life, quit our jobs, sell everything we own, and get on the road to travel for a few years exploring our passion. There is little doubt it will change our lives forever and we have never been happier since we made the decision.

  • Lucy October 12, 2009, 9:05 am

    Happy half-birthday! Does this mean your blog is like the Queen and Paddington Bear and will have two birthdays every year?

  • Ben Owens October 12, 2009, 9:16 am

    Wow. I can’t believe that it has been 6 months already! That’s great, Josh. You have really put together an amazing site that I enjoy coming to every single day.

    Something I am proud of? Once, when I was a lad, I defeated M. Bison on Street Fighter II: The New Challengers back to back without getting hit. That one still makes me tear up every now and then.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 9:23 am

      @ben O: M. Bison…I hate him so much!! How are you feeling? Lindsey said you’ve been horribly sick.

      @Lucy: I suppose that’s exactly what it means. Good old Paddington!

      @Warren: I couldn’t be happier for you. As soon as I’ve got the guts, I’m going to do the same thing. Meaning: as soon as people pay me enough to run ads, you’ll see me dancing on top of the pyramids:)

      @Stephanie: Business, eh? I hear that there’s money in business. But I wouldn’t know anything about that.

  • Stephanie Smith October 12, 2009, 9:31 am

    @Josh:funny. Well, I figured nursing first, then fall back on Administarion to make a difference for the nurses from the top. We can’t all be lucky enough to be librarians, ya know! I would love nothing more than to be working back at my old job in chronic kidney dialysis- I loved going to work each day…but life set me on another path…so now I am trying to overcome my rejection fears about applying for jobs and having to explain my stupid mistake that caused my prosecution. It’s hard to dredge it up, but things won’t change if I don’t try, so we shall see. Ok -off to get groceries and a massage! I love linking to your other readers -there is so much out there-it is a smorgasbord of great info! Like Christmas!:)

  • Jim Gaudet October 12, 2009, 9:47 am

    Congrats, but did you know you have 666 readers?

  • David Cain October 12, 2009, 9:54 am

    Hey Josh. Congratulations on your first of many half-years of WSL. Your blog is a shining star among millions of dim ones. You’re the hardest working blogger I know and you’ve been an inspiration to me on many levels.

    As for who I am, you already have a pretty good idea. Cheers to six months, and many more.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 10:13 am

      @David: Thanks man. I’m also the laziest blogger you know, but you don’t know that, so I’ll take the compliment and keep pretending.

      @Jim: I did know that, and it’s in the 6th month, too!

  • Ben Owens October 12, 2009, 11:00 am

    Yeah, I am. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do I get REALLY sick. It really sucks. On friday, I was on top of the world because I had just pressed the 32kg kb five times with each arm (a goal of mine) and then saturday, BANG! I brought down hard. I’ll live though…I think.

  • Ben (from TIC) October 12, 2009, 11:33 am


    Been married since June, 2005 at 28 years old. How about you?


    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 11:33 am

      Ben, I’ve been married for 8 years this past August. I got married when I was 23.

  • Carol October 12, 2009, 11:47 am

    I heard about it from Facebook. I find your blog interesting and I have found new books to read.
    The things I am most proud of are my children and being the auntie of some amazing folks.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 11:49 am

      Carol, I’m glad you’re my auntie. Thanks for the support.

  • Ben (from TIC) October 12, 2009, 1:07 pm

    That means we’re the same age, I think. 1977 was a great year. Congrats on 8 years. Probably doesn’t feel that long.

  • Sarah October 12, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Hi Josh! Congratulations on sticking with blogging and on creating a blog that appeals to many people for many different reasons. I am here because I relate to your story. Laziness is not interesting: overcoming stuff is.

    Being an overcomer myself would be the thing I am proud of: having pushed through the pain of physical therapy to forge a “new” right arm a few years ago, and now challenging it (and the rest of me) on an almost daily basis to reach crazy new personal heights through swinging a cannonball with a handle.

    Rock on, Josh!

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 2:06 pm

      @Sarah: Right on. That sounds like an HKC talking!

  • Joanna October 12, 2009, 2:14 pm

    I’m reading the blog because I am an elementary librarian who is always looking for eclectic points of view from other librarians, and I find your posts to be a breath of fresh air from other library-related blogs. I’m still catching up on all your older posts, but I love everything I’ve read so far. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories with us. I am enjoying finding other fascinating blogs through your guest posts, too. Great idea!

    I am most proud of signing up to do a half-marathon at the end of November to celebrate my 40th birthday year. I will be even more proud when I finish, but just signing up took a lot of guts!

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 2:27 pm

      @Joanna: That’s awesome about the half marathon! You’ll blast through it like nobody’s business. Thanks for visiting and for all the kind words.

  • Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings October 12, 2009, 3:00 pm

    Congrats Josh! It’s great to see you powering ahead.

    I come here because you’re just as crazy as me and I dig your humour. I never know what I’m going to see from WSL in my reader!

    I sent out a post recently myself re asking my readers what their greatest accomplishments were. I cited mine as 1. The relationships I have with my partner, family & close friends. 2. Getting through a divorce with grace and dignity in tact. 3. Actively chasing my dreams.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 3:27 pm

      Sami – I am nowhere near as crazy as you are, but thank you on all other counts.

  • Casey Brazeal (North and Clark) October 12, 2009, 4:15 pm

    6 month is 3 and a half in dog years, but in blog years its about 24. Well done buddy I hope this blog lives to see 100.

  • Megan Horton October 12, 2009, 4:22 pm

    Congragulations. I’m your sister, but I would read your blog even if I wasn’t. I might not leave an amazing comment because I have a really high fever and I keep throwing up. Cross your fingers and toes it’s not swine flu. I see a doc first thing in the am.

    Back to you. I’m reading the blog because I value your opinion. I like your humor, it’s like mine, I usually always read the books you recommend if I haven’t read them already. I’m reading the Gargoyle right now and I love it. Your writing is funny and smart.

    I am proud of myself because I get through everyday with a horrible disease and nobody would ever know I was sick because I keep a smile on my face even if I feel like screaming. It’s hard and I think I do a pretty good job. Why are we so sickly? Mom and dad must have been up to some crazy stuff before they had us. Just kidding.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 4:38 pm

      @Megan: Mom and dad are both crackheads. You know it. I know it.

      @Casey B: Many thanks. I hope so too.

  • Noel October 12, 2009, 5:32 pm

    Congrats on six months, Josh! And 199 posts? You’re churning them out quickly! Taking the time to respond to reader comments shows your passion for this project, very impressive. Best of luck to you over the next 6-12+ months, keep up the great work!

  • Megan Horton October 12, 2009, 5:48 pm

    Crackheads? Yeah. Maybe we should get them to apologize to us for making us sick with their crackhead ways…

  • Daisy October 12, 2009, 5:51 pm

    I’m Daisy. I’m a teacher, mom, wife, gardener, and coffee drinker. I’m proud of maintaining my sanity in an insanely fast-paced world. Slowing down, going greener all the time, and blogging the whole while help keep the craziness in perspective.

  • Vandy Massey October 12, 2009, 6:04 pm

    I’m a new reader of your blog. Your progress in your first 6 months is seriously impressive. I wish I could claim the same for ours.

    I really like the openness of your writing – it’s clearly written from the heart. Makes it very readable – its a blog I enjoy.

    What have I done that am I proud of? Thinking in business terms, it’s number of people we’ve helped gain awareness of their strengths and what they might consider working on. For me, clear insight (in the way you have an ‘aha!’ moment) is so powerful – and I love being able to help with that.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 7:39 pm

      @Vandy: I couldn’t ask for a nicer compliment. If I want this to be anything, I want it to be from the heart. It’s all real.

      @Daisy: Oh, I know who you are, Daisy. Things aren’t slowing down in the world, are they?

      @Noel: I’ve done one a day for most of the time. There were a few foolish days in the beginning when I thought I’d do a book review every day. Nope.

  • Victoria Vargas October 12, 2009, 7:31 pm

    @Josh. A rescue cat is one that was rescued from euthanasia, from the streets, or an abusive home – in my kitty’s case, she was saved from euthanasia at the local Animal Shelter by the Phoenix Animal Welfare League where I met and adopted her. It does sound more like she’s been trained in search & rescue. Ah, now there’s a short story that needs to be written. Excuse me…must go type now… 🙂

  • George Angus October 12, 2009, 9:28 pm


    Wow – Six months old. Should mean you’re about ready to move up to the next size of diapers!

    Astounding success here, and much deserved.



    • Josh Hanagarne October 12, 2009, 10:11 pm

      George, thanks. I’ll have to use a cloth diaper. There aren’t pampers my size.

  • Mathdelane October 12, 2009, 10:46 pm

    Hi Josh,
    This was truly an amazing feat. I wish that after all these successes, you’ll still be able to look back at those who have helped you made it this far.
    Like it was always said, “many are called but few are chosen.”

    • Josh Hanagarne October 13, 2009, 8:03 am

      @Math: thanks. I’ll have people to thank at every step no matter how far this goes, but it started with this group right here. I won’t forget it.

  • Heather October 13, 2009, 7:27 am

    My name’s Heather. I am a weight-lifting school librarian who loves all things weird (including my husband and YOU, JOSH! AND I LOVE JANNETTE TOO! AND I LOVE STEPHANIE SMITH AND HER BLOG!). I found this blog after hitting on a link from Jessamyn West’s blog, librarian.net. I started reading this blog because of the name, but also because of the book reviews, the funny stuff, the rockin’ videos, and the guest posts (it’s how I got into Stephanie’s blog, Half is Believing). I LOVE the strength training stuff! It has also made me want to get back into my kettlebell training, weak as it was. I am most proud of the fact that I can help people in my job–whether it’s helping a kid find a book they like, helping someone save something onto a flash drive that’s trying to gasp it’s last, or helping a senior format their final research paper, print it, e-mail it to a professor (we offer college-credit courses to high school students), I always know that I showed somebody something neat that they didn’t know before. OMG, it’s like a small blog post! Sorry, Josh! But have a rockin’ day, nonetheless!

    • Josh Hanagarne October 13, 2009, 7:58 am

      @Heather: that was a great comment to wake up to. It’s always fun to show people things they didn’t know and that they can use, isn’t it?

  • Stephanie Smith October 13, 2009, 9:51 am

    @ Heather-
    I am truly humbled my your mention and I had a smile on my face all the way to the office.
    Plus -back at ya! Esp. on loving Josh -in a platonic sense of course….I am married to a kinky San Fransisco guy after all! 🙂

  • Beth L. Gainer October 13, 2009, 1:52 pm

    I think you know me. I am Beth, cancer survivor and medical activist. I am so very proud of you for hitting so many HUGE milestones in only six months old.

    While I as a reader would like to take credit for this, the special shout-out goes to you. Quality content, connectedness, your sense of humor are just some reasons I read your blog. And I’m glad that I was able to guest post on it.

    The thing I’ve done recently that I’m very proud of was to accept an invitation to Medpedia.com to be one of its contributors. My blog is now seen by that community as well!! This just happened a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, one of the administrators was following my blog.

    Who knew?

    Keep up the good work, Josh. I love your blog!!

    • Josh Hanagarne October 13, 2009, 3:10 pm

      @Beth: Thank you very much. Of all the things the blog has resulted in, meeting you has been one of the best.

  • Christopher Smith October 13, 2009, 9:53 pm

    Josh I read your blog because it is so unique. To date, this is the only place on the web that I can come to and find information about fitness, steel bending, book reviews and interesting, witty stories that may or may not be related to any of the aforementioned topics in one place. I always know when there is a new post on WSL, that it will be worth my time to read.

    As for something I’m proud of, I’ll pick a simple one. Today, after a few weeks of struggling, I finally bent the 1/4″ x 7″ round stock from FBBC. I’ve been trying to do it for a few weeks now, and it has refused to budge. When I finally crushed it today, it felt amazing.

    Keep the great content coming!


  • Mark Wolfinger October 13, 2009, 10:03 pm

    You have done a remarkable job and to think it’s only six months.


    i read your blog because I find your writing to be well done and it holds my interest. It’s fun.

    Best regards

  • Liz October 19, 2009, 10:13 am

    Hah, since you don’t think I read your blog, I thought I’d better respond to this.

    Who I am:
    I’m Liz. I’m a financial analyst. I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a lot of other things, but these are the three ones that come closest to defining me.

    Why I read WSL:
    When I was younger, my mother used to send me to my room to punish me for doing something wrong. It wasn’t long before she realized this was no punishment at all. I had a library of books (alphabetized by author, nonetheless), and I wasn’t afraid to use them! So, my mom took away my books and THEN sent me to my room. Ha ha. True story, though! Anyway, I love reading, love books, and love strength and kettlebell topics. So you’ve got me on both of those. I’ve also been absolutely fascinated by the opportunity you’ve provided for me to learn about tourrettes.

    Something I’ve done that I’m proud of:
    Gosh, there are lots of them. To pick just one…it’s difficult to say the least.
    I suppose it’s pretty cool that I helped a bunch of people in my community band together and fight against a school board that was power hungry and trying to raise our taxes 22%. We started a taxpayer association, got new people elected to the school board, and ended up with a new superintendent and a budget surplus of $22 million. Our school district has made a major turnaround, and we are no longer the highest taxed district in the county. Did I do this alone? No. But I helped, as did a core group of about 20 people and then hundreds more members who showed up at meetings and the polls to help us enact change. Bringing political change, even at the local level, is absolutely something I can be proud of! And now I can also say I’m the former president of the Coatesville Taxpayer Alliance. Fun stuff!