August 13, 2014 - Last month was Community Paper Month here in Michigan and across the vast fruited plains o' America. We had a contest for folks to write an essay on community papers and got some good ones, too.
One that was late (more on that one later) didn't make the cut for the 50 greenbacks I dangled as a carrot to get folks to write. Those greenbacks were hard earned by me and as the cheapest guy in town it did pain me just a little when I pried open my wallet to dole them out to the contest winner (more on her later, too).
The late entry, written by a Vanessa wasn't really an essay at all. This Vanessa actually wrote a song about the lonely newspaperman, who sits high atop his ivory tower, watching the world he covers. Watching, waiting.
Here's the song. Read it, and if anyone can come up with a good title for the song and lay down some solid musical licks to go with, let me know. I won't give you 50 bucks, but when you die you can rest assured I appreciated your efforts in theme song making.
* * *
there he sits in the ivory tower
waiting and listening to all around
friendly voices, singing … masking the negativity abound
he is one, but of many, bringing joy to the world
traveling with a smile as wide as the ocean
it may seem lonely, sitting in the tower of white
but he stands on the shoulders of all those before him
and in the arms of all those who love him
so even though he sees no one around
there they are, surrounding, supporting, and encouraging
without whispering anything at all.
* * *
Thank you, Vanessa. Me likely.
Now, as promised above, more on the contest winner, Diane DeClerck. Ever the self promoter, I ignobly asked Diane to come in to collect her $50 winnings. I could have mailed it to her, or left it in an envelope for her to pickup at her leisure. Oh no, I would have none of that.
If I was gonna give away 50 smackareenos I wanted something in return, I wanted a picture with the winner that I could use in this week's column. More picture equals less words. The less words needed to fill my column space leaves me more time to do other stuff. And, as author Stephen King knows, all work and no play makes Don a dull boy.
Winner Diane DeClerck, me and her money. (Which I took back after the photo was taken.) (click for larger version)
I had it all planned out. The picture was good (thank you Diane and photographer Andrea Beaudoin) and my lazy evil plan was working to perfection. Then Diane went and done something unexpected. She declined her winnings and instead asked me to donate it to the Devoted Friends Animal Society.
Rats. My evil (if not lazy) plan was thwarted by an act of do-goodness. Curses!
What could I do? I'm giving the money to the group, plus a little extra public relations. This 100-percent volunteer group works to find homes for unwanted pets. Volunteers can usually be found at the Pet Supplies Plus in Ortonville, Saturdays, 1-4 or on Facebook. If you'd like to volunteer or donate, for more information e-mail, email@example.com
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org