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Two truths, one lie


Sabra and I attended the annual party for West Branch Communications, the company that publishes this newspaper as well as eight other weekly rags.
I use the word “rag” affectionately. Publisher Jake Krob has done an excellent job of keeping the editorial quality up and the bottom line black on all of his endeavors. This is not an easy task. The editions and mastheads in the archives are proof. Many people have tried and failed at threading all the needles it takes to keep a small community newspaper afloat. Few make it but Krob is one that did.
The party was held in the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon. It took us a little extra time to find it because the map application on my cellphone kept indicating that the center is located in the old high school. But as Gomer Pyle would say, “surprise, surprise!” the high school has been turned into a community center.
And what a great job someone has done.
The center offers retail shopping with 10 diverse businesses including a chocolatier, a fabric shop, a florist, a thrift store, antiques and art boutiques. It is also home to The Uptown Theatre, which provides a venue for community plays and live music. There’s also a dance studio, fitness center, free lending library, farmers market and gym. All of this in a lovely old building that could have been easily razed instead of repurposed.
As a team building exercise, each of the 30-or-so people attending the party were asked to stand and tell three things about themselves. Two were supposed to be true, one a lie.
Following is my submission with a couple of enhancements– now that I have the luxury of thinking things through and crafting my words in writing.
I once took a lovely time exposure photo of Solon at night. It was snowing big fat flakes and I made the delicate images pop by setting off a flash. The exposure and composition were spot on. The result was an artistic and appealing record of what the city looks like on a wintry night. Unfortunately, the printing press was running heavy on the ink that week and the photo turned into a great big black rectangle across the entire front page of the newspaper. The caption under the photo announced: Solon at night.
Once, when I was on the Solon City Council, the reporter hired to cover a meeting didn’t show. What did I do? I wrote the story myself, ran it under my byline and even quoted myself. Bet President Trump would love to do the same but, then again, maybe he already is?
And finally, once I won a condom-judging contest.
It was held at the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City.
The clinic is a not-for-profit independent organization founded in 1973 by a group of women driven by feminist ideals. It exists to empower women and men in all life stages through the provision of quality reproductive health care that includes abortion services, gynecology services, safer sex promotion and active education. Over the years it has been a godsend to countless people.
It will be hit hard if and when the Iowa Legislature, now run mostly by Republican men, votes to defund Planned Parenthood and enacts other anti-choice measures. If only people would work as hard to help women and children as they do judging and controlling.
Which are true or false?
There actually was a condom-judging contest at the clinic. They filled up a five-gallon glass jar with Trojans and contestants had to judge how many were in it. I’m not sharing what I won; it’s too personal.
And I did quote myself in a story one time. If you don’t like it, go buy your own newspaper.
And while I did take an exquisite photo of a town at night that turned into a black box in the paper, the town was Oxford and not Solon.