In the toot-my-own-horn department: Last week I received a first-place award for "Serious Columnist" from the New England Newspaper & Press Association. This is of course a great affront to all the actual serious columnists toiling away weekly at their keyboards, veritably awash in seriousness. As for me, I occasionally pen an essay that's vaguely non-humorous, and that's what they chose to honor. I'm not complaining -- I've always said, you give me a plaque, I'll hang it up. I'm not picky.
Anyway, the columns they cited were one about my grandmother, who passed away in 2008, and one on my local hometown newspaper, which passed away in 2009. You can read them here and here.