navigating the web and finding a prize

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Some website are easy to surf. Others, like mine, are particularly challenging. For that reason I am in the middle of a major re-design.

This will take some time as I learn all there is to know about websites and the internet. Kind of the way I had to learn all about newspaper journalism some ten years back. I had a couple of excellent teachers at The Signal. The first was Chris Dickerson. He was the educational reporter when I was first hired as a part-time reporter. The newspaper was famous for hiring you and then just throwing you out to cover stories. Chris helped me through my first long and boring high school board meeting.

Then Chris quit! and I was brought on full-time to cover…. education.

You might think the education beat can be somewhat boring, but it’s amazing how many stories you get out of schools. One of the best stories I covered was the “Every 15 Minutes” program. These two-day events are meant to show high school juniors and seniors the consequences of drinking and driving. The whole community gets involved – sheriffs, fire department, EMTs, hospital, courts and a group of student volunteers who recreate a drunk driving disaster complete with crashed cars, bloody make-up and body bags. You also have parents who have to write “obituaries” for kids who didn’t survive and parents who have to “bail” out their child who was the driver. Others were sent to the morgue to identify their children. It’s an unbelievable re-creation.

The second day is the most emotional as parents who have lost their children in real crashes tell their stories about the most devastating day of their life. My co-worker at the time, Patti Shea, taught me how to write that first sentence that captured the event and hence the readers. I still remember it – “Students learned first-hand the consequences of drinking and driving on Thursday, some from the inside of a body bag.”

Tim Whyte was my editor at the time. When he had the time to read over my stories, he would give them a tweak here and there which made me a better story-teller. Then-city editor Leon Worden drove me crazy but he always made sure I had the facts correct. Friend and journalist Carol Rock is still a great editor as well as my  Wisconsin friend/English teacher Sue Milton. They cringe, I’m sure, when they see grammatical errors on this site, but I thank them always. Patti Shea, btw, is still a wonderful source as I learn this new form of journalism.

But time marches on and now I’m blogging. I’m learning a new journalism tool – websites – and it’s time to kick it up a notch. I’ll be taking some time off as I travel to Quebec but in the meantime I am giving my 12 readers a challenge.

Find the cooking/giveaway page (it has to do with Burl Ives and it’s difficult to navigate there). If you haven’t already, leave me a note at the bottom of that blog on what you remember about Burl Ives (how come no one remembers “Summer Magic” with Haley Mills?). You’ll automatically be entered into a $200 Sur La Table gift certificate,

Some of you are in the running and there is a good chance you’ll win. I’m giving you until 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Good luck and keep a look out for my new and improved site!

oh, and thanks for reading…. any and all grammatical errors can be listed below 🙂


2 Responses to “navigating the web and finding a prize”

  1. Carol Rock Says:

    Frosty the Snowman. It looks like him, sounds like him and if he lived in the frozen north, could be his twin brother. When I see Burl Ives, I think of jolly (Ooh, I think I have a recording of “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas” that he did. It plays in the endless loop of holiday mirth in my home throughout December).
    He also reminds me of Mitch Miller (ala “Sing Along With Mitch”) with the goatee. Ah well. They’re both dead now……

  2. CinderellieSister Says:

    nice carol, but you didn’t find the right site 🙂 gotta find contests/giveaways and add your comments there.
    oh well, you are a good friend. I’ll include you anyway!

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