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Phil In The Blank


Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


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August 25, 2010 - For the past four years, the "blank" in "Phil in the Blank" referred to this space in the newspaper. I'm the editor in charge of laying out the newspaper, and when it's my turn to write the column, this spot is blank until I fill it.

Now it means something else a blank spot on (in?) the World Wide Web. I have my own show at www.Clarkston411.com.

I am a rank amateur at this stuff, of course. My first episode a couple weeks ago, my teeth were so clenched I looked like I was trying ventriloquism. I wouldn't blame viewers for looking for my puppet.

It's something I've always done when I'm nervous. I remember in elementary school choir practice, the director telling me, through clenched teeth so I knew what it looked like, that I needed to open my mouth more.

But as I describe it in the program, Phil in the Blank show is a behind-the-scenes look at the week's paper, like a director's commentary when you get the paper, cue me up and let me blather on about it as you read.

Find out how I got pictures of the RUSH Regatta last weekend at Deer Lake. I was in the lake. I wore my swimsuit and waded out until the water was up to my tummy. Unfortunately, I kept saying I was ON the lake, making it sound like I was in a boat. No, I was IN the lake.

Also, see what I really think about township officials and the value of a pull quote. (Stop saying how the board needs someone else's experts because it makes you sound like you don't know how to hire your own experts.)

Check out why I'm very conscientious about getting Clarkston's obituaries in the paper in a timely manner. (A fellow said he would come out and beat me up if I didn't, like he used to do in the war with guys who didn't do their job.)

This week, you'll likely hear me talk about me writing about the web program, as well as some strange similarities between one of the superintendent candidates and a certain former Clarkston superintendent.

I should be getting over my clenched-jaw problem. If I do, maybe I'll make my choir director proud and sing something.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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