Monthly Archives: October 2003

If stranded on an island, can we use a Linotype?

    Only about a decade ago, six of us comprised a team that presented two-week journalism workshops each summer for high school seniors at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
     Though NAU was the host institution, we selected applicants from some dozen states. We thought the faculty represented good balance: some of us were brought up in the old green-eye-shade school; others, the theoreticians, we called the “chi squares,” because of the countless surveys they conducted and the standard deviations they wrestled with.

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Sidewalks used to teem with activity

    It is easier for me to go down memory lane than for many whose childhood homes are gone. The house I was born in, on the 900 block of Railroad, now shelters my niece and her children.
    Returning to that area brings nostalgia. The bubbling of life up and down the street is gone. In the 40s and 50s, the neighborhood was teeming with people. It was impossible to avoid bumping into someone on the sidewalk. Rather than staying inside, we took to the sidewalks. Girls loved to play hopscotch and jump rope. Boys, their pockets bulging with agates, devoted their young lives to playing marbles.

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Coins used to have jingle; now it’s just dull thud

    Does anyone remember when coins used to jingle instead of making the dull thud? The jingle may have saved three of us from a beating, as part of a what-the-#!&@-you-looking-at? scenario. But first, a few words about the jingle of coins.
     Millions today cannot fully comprehend the value of money, given that it’s inflated perhaps 25 times in our lifetimes.
     A nickel would buy a soft drink, or a “fizz” at Murphey’s. A dime entitled you to a sundae at Leo’s Pharmacy or an empanadita at Angel’s Bakery on South Pacific.

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News hounds not as bad as thought

     In stereotypical fashion, movies and television programs consistently portray big-city reporters as glorified paparazzi.
     All of us can tell of rude reporters and camera operators asking questions like: “And how did you feel when you discovered your daughter had been kidnapped?”
     But are the movies and television networks accurate in their portrayal of the media?
     No!

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It’s not exactly rocket science

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
    That expression is one of those apparently understood universally. But just in case, it simply means the subject matter is within the grasp of us mortals.
     Notice that the expression is phrased in the negative. You don’t hear people say, “It IS rocket science,” or “It TAKES a rocket scientist. . . “

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