I can’t remember a time when so much in life warrants lip-quivering.Two July items cause Texans’ lips to purse.
For starters, we’re falling behind in the height department. For more than a century, we were the tallest people on the planet. Several countries have taller citizens now, with Holland leading the way. The second part of the anatomy-whammy is that obesity is now thought to be contagious.
Whooda thought it? Must we do stretching exercises or maybe build some dikes with holes in ‘em way up high? Develop a vaccine to avoid “catching” obesity?…
With the beginning of school just days away, educators have reason to join other lip-quiverers.
Teachers with long “to-do” lists found few days for outdoor projects during Texas’ “monsoon summer.”
Superintendents, some way out on limbs facing multiple adversaries wielding power saws, are pondering a revision for next year’s calendar to include flood days…
Can’t believe I almost left out coaches. Their success lies in the hands of kids 15-18 years of age. And forever circling are shark-like fans claiming to be with them all the way — win or tie.
Did you see the headshot of Texas A&M Coach Dennis Franchione in the newspapers? Something dark obscured part of his face in the picture snapped by a San Antonio Express-News photographer. In sharp focus, however, were his mouth, nose, most of one ear and both troubled eyes.
We won’t know until November whether the obscurity was a mere shadow or quicksand…
In Ruidoso, N.M., recently to address members of the West Texas Press Association, I noted quivering lips on the faces of a few dozen editors and publishers. They are dealing with unrelenting technological changes coming straight at them at head-spinning speed.
They know that the “same old, same old” publication methods won’t cut it in the future.
My thoughts hearkened back more than 40 years, when I was allegedly teaching college journalism. I also reflected on my college years, when I thought I was a newspaper editor. I got an early start on lip-quivering…
Summer editor twice for the weekly “Brown County Gazette,” I felt comfortable writing tidbits called “personals” (who visited whom, what they ate, games they played) that usually ended thusly: “and a good time was had by all.”
As one weekly deadline loomed, brows furrowed and lips quivered because I was devoid of a page one lead story. Desperate, I wrote about the upcoming July 4th holiday. The headline: “July Fourth to Come on Tuesday this Year.”
A reader retorted: “If that was news, the almanac scooped you by 150 years,” adding that he “already knows what’s going to be in the paper, but reads it any way just to see if I get it right.”
In July 1960, my boss purchased the “Frisco Enter-prise” and sent me there for a month. Frisco, like Bangs where the Gazette was published, had about 1,100 people.
I was in near-panic mode upon arrival, knowing no one and realizing that page one stories would be even harder to find in an unfamiliar setting. Luckily, I met School Superintendent Bill Stribling early on…
I could I always get a good story from this cooperative gentleman. One announced new personnel and another was about the tax rate. (I didn’t understand the rate story, and he pretty much wrote it.)
One day, deadline pressing, page one begged for a lead story. I called Mr. Stribling. “All we’re doing this week is re-finishing the gym floor,” he said.
You can guess the rest: “Gym Floor Re-finished,” the headline proclaimed…
Frisco today has changed a bit. Bob Warren, a retiree who pens historical pieces, moved back to his hometown in 1981.One of 17 seniors in the FHS class of 1938, he remembers Martin’s Dry Goods Store (jokingly called “Neiman-Martins”). It closed a decade before his retirement. “For years, there was no place in town to buy a pair of socks,” Warren claims.
The community now boasts some 100,000 residents. There’s much more to write about now than during my assignment there 47 years ago, when calling it a “one-horse” town would have been unfair to the horse.
Now, they’ve got several professional sports teams. A guy named “Beckham” is going to play soccer there soon. And there are several places to buy socks…
Don Newbury is a speaker and author whose weekly column appears in 125 newspapers in six states. He welcomes comments and inquiries. Call him at (817) 447-3872, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org His Web site is www.speakerdoc.com.