The Dart: Taking aim and telling stories

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 8, 2012

With a black-and-white checked blindfold covering her eyes, Robbyn Brooks lined up her dart and took aim.

Seconds later, the dart was bouncing off the coffee maker in the break room and the cry of “to the right” rose up from among the gathered co-workers.

With a little help Robbyn repositioned herself and with a new dart in hand took aim again.

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This time, the dart landed squarely on the map with a “thud.”

Peering closer at the map to study the geography, Robbyn turned to the video camera capturing the event and smiled wide. “We’re coming for you!” she said.

Just your typical Thursday afternoon in a newspaper office … sort of.

Our impromptu game of darts was actually the beginning of a new project. Each week, a member of our editorial staff will launch a dart at the map of Pike County and head out with pen and camera in search of a story.

It’s a simple concept, really. We want to offer a slice of life right here in Pike County. And what better want to find those stories then good, old-fashioned hitting-the-streets reporting?

As your community newspaper, we know you depend on us for coverage of Pike County. From city or county government to politics; sports to lifestyles; health care to education; business and commerce to cops and courts, you want to know the news and how it affects you. We want to give you those answers, and it’s what we aim to do in each edition.

But what about those other parts of our lives? Those simple moments that weave together the fabric of our families and our community? How do we record those for posterity?

That’s where The Dart comes in.

Taking a riff on an oft-employed journalism school exercise, we’re tossing a dart at a map at random and heading out with only our eye for an interesting story and a genuine curiosity to seek out the interesting stories hidden all around us. In years past, darts led me to meet the man who chauffeured Lee Iacocca during his General Motors heyday and a couple who crafted an entire garden from discarded bowling balls. Who knew?

Each Tuesday, we’ll share the stories and photos we discover. Some may be profiles of interesting characters we meet; others may simply be a slice of every day life. Either way, it’s a bit of lagniappe for you. A little something extra to make you smile on Tuesday morning.

So if you see Robbyn out and about this weekend, notebook in hand, stop and say hello. Just remember to step to the left if you give her a dart …

Stacy G. Graning is publisher of The Messenger. Contact her at For a video of the inaugural Dart selection, go to