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|Summer at last!|
|By Bruce Barrett|
|Tuesday, June 09, 2009 08:49 AM|
Get ready for the summerâ€™s swirl of arts and entertainment. You need to plan, and Iâ€™ll do my utmost to keep you informed ahead of time. Keep your eyes on the calendar section. I usually write about a single event, so thereâ€™s no way you can catch everything by reading â€œWhatâ€™s Going On Here?â€
The same holds for you promoters. Donâ€™t believe that you â€œtold the Clipperâ€ when you speak to me. I only write this column. If you are promoting an event, tell the Clipper by writing a brief and timely announcement or two. Write a very brief note for the calendar listing, too. Include accurate times, dates, locations and contact information for tickets, including ticket prices (if any).
â€œTimelyâ€ means reaching the Clipper by Friday, the week before the Wednesday that the paper comes out, especially if you want your information in the calendar section.
How do you deliver your information? Times have changed since Clipper founders John and Bobbie Cutler heard people say â€œPut it on the front page, please.â€ John wrote a book with such a title (1960), but nowadays youâ€™re hampered if youâ€™re not online. A heads-up call can help someone watch for your e-mail and carve it out from a mountain of spam, but the fastest way to get information into print is to type it yourself in a format that can go right into the electronic medium of a modern newspaper. Hard copy can still work, but it means that someone else will need to enter it into a usable format.
In case you didnâ€™t catch the irony of John Cutlerâ€™s 1960 title, everyone wants their piece â€œon the front page,â€ above the fold, if you donâ€™t mind! It may be true that anyone who is anyone would be charmed to read the old saw from small-town newspaper lore,Â that â€œQueenieâ€™s kittens had kittens,â€ but youâ€™ll find that most folks really do flip through the whole Clipper. Your announcement will do best on the inside page where it belongs. Besides, these days your neighbors would rather read how Queenie finally got spayed, and perhaps that sheâ€™s being kept indoors away from neighborhood songbirds.
Keep it crisp. Use action verbs. Passive verbs are letting us weaken and die. (Get it? How about, â€œPassive verbs kill our souls!â€) Stick with Teutonic roots, another John Cutler notion. Wait! Say â€œAnglo-Saxon,â€ not â€œTeutonic;â€ â€œthought,â€ not â€œnotion.â€ You get the idea.
Iâ€™ll try to keep my column looking ahead, with only the occasional review of something gone by. Next week, for example, Iâ€™ll write about the South Shore Conservatoryâ€™s Duxbury Music Festival, the growing event in mid-July that brings music faculty and top students from around the world together with our most advanced local performers.
Itâ€™ll be perfect for me. I love the chance to write my way around the world. The Clipperâ€™s success stems from its founding as a paper â€œfor and about Duxbury.â€ But you know me. I love a chance to spout off about far away places and people. I slip out of windows to fly in breezes never expected: Sergio de los Cobos, piano faculty for the festival, now hails from Geneva, Switzerland. Geneva, where peacocks roam the grounds of the League of Nations and Henry Dunant founded the International Committee of the Red Cross, the worldâ€™s best hope for the protection of the most vulnerable â€¦ well, you get the idea. Try to keep it for and about Duxbury.
I expect another grand summer, with too many things for me to see, too many songs for me to hear. Iâ€™ll try to spread the word. You try, too. Keep me posted at my Clipper e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or catch me at my day job. Until then, watch for peacocks.