|Best Seller, CyberAck & Some Fun
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
WEDNESDAYS WITH MITCH: Ive been
publishing the Trib for more than two decades. During the past decade, Ive
also had the opportunity to oversee 23 other newspapers in the metropolitan area.
Ive met a lot of journalists. Most of them working for our company, News
Communications, but quite a few from the dailies, weeklies, magazines and internet that
contribute to making New York the information capital of the world.
One of them, Mitch Albom, presently has a
nonfiction book atop The New York Times "Best Sellers" list. Mitchs
book, in the Times number one slot, is Tuesdays With Morrie. This true
account about the celebration of life as one faces death recently was a made-for-TV movie
starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azzaria. Mitchs book has been on the Times list
for an incredible 117 consecutive weeks. Wow!
Mitch worked for us in the early 80s.
The Tribune, he told me recently, was his first writing job in which he got paid.
We launched his career.
I remember Mitch well. He was serious,
organized, and hard working. But I dont know if he was more gifted than a whole
batch of journalists whove moved through our doors. David Oats was more creative;
Marty Lipp, a better writer; Brian OConner, hungrier; Marcia Gelbart, more dedicated
to the profession.
Then why, I wondered, was it Mitch Albom
who wrote one of the nonfiction blockbusters of a lifetime. Sure, the story was wonderful.
Of course Mitch writes well. Certainly circumstance played a role. But the true answer
lies in discipline and hard work. Greatness, in this instance, was achieved with more than
just talent. The Mitch Albom I know brought commitment to the table. The serious
journalist got the prize.
It has been a trip watching Mitch conquer
the world. It was a thrill being a tiny part of it. But, we should take a lesson away from
this one: hard work and dedication have their rewards.
CLASSIFIED AD, received via email:
Y2K CLEARANCE SALE: 200 canned
fruits, 100 lbs. dried beans, 2,000 gal. fresh water (including underground tank), 5,000
watt propane generator, 800 assorted canned vegetables, 8 cases sterno, 18 boxes matches,
2,000 rounds of 45 caliber bullets, 10 cases 12 ga. shotgun shells, 50 "D" cell
batts., 75 "AA" batts., 47 "AAA" batts., 1 solar powered radio, 4
cases powdered protein, 1 milk cow, 1 bull, 7 laying hens, 1 rooster, 40x60 underground
shelter (with separate livestock quarters), 1 wood burning stove, 8 cords wood, 43
assorted magazines (12 adult related), 12 flashlights, 8 kerosene lamps, 16 military
blankets, many other misc. survival items. Bids will be accepted starting 1/2/00. Serious
PRESS RELEASES: A quick review of some
press releases recently received reveals:
*Communist Party, New York State. Support
the Transit workers Repeal the Taylor Law.
*Toby Stavisky, is the first woman elected
to the State Senate from Queens.
*Senator Al Waldon, Jr. Confirmed as NYS
Court of Claims Judge.
And, our favorite . . .
*"District Attorney Queens County,
Richard Brown, District Attorney. Cases of interest Thursday, January 13, 2000.
NOTHING OF INTEREST."
Yup, we really received it.
CYBERACK: In what is believed to be
the first of its kind in the metro area, Congressman Gary Ackerman will host a
Congressional web chat live. On Jan. 27, in the hour immediately following
President Clintons State of the Union address (10:30, 11:30 p.m.), you can log onto
www.house.gov/ackerman and click on the chat icon and join the quickest wit in Congress
for a local town hall meeting in cyberspace.
Ackerman hopes to respond to
constituents questions regarding the Presidents speech and dispel all rumors
that just last year he thought you need a surf board to tour the web.
See you online with Gary. (Jan 27, 10:30
DEBATE: I was watching the Gore
Bradley Iowa Presidential debate I find that type of stuff fascinating. But,
I didnt see the end I fell asleep.
NEAT NITA: A recent transfer to the
Solomon Schechter School of Queens, an Iranian Jew from Tehran, almost missed going on the
eighth-grade class annual trip to Israel near years end. Her family was still
in the process of establishing residency in the States, and neither the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society nor the Immigration and Naturalization Service could help cut the travel
documents necessary to allow the youngster to go with the rest of his classmates.
Thats when Representative Lowey stepped in on a weeks notice and, with three
days to spare, saw to it that all the paperwork was expedited.
BODY SLAM: The New York Times
Magazine reports that there are more Jesse Venturas out there: former wrestlers
Bob Backlund of Connecticut (Ive even heard of him) and Jon Stewart of Illinois (not
the funny man) are running for Congress. Two more wrestlers running for public office . .
. Hmmm! It could be worse. They could have been lawyers.
HILLMAN EMAIL 2: Last week we
printed an email from former Assemblyman Mort Hillman who has become a reader of our
online version (queenstribune.com) from Delray Beach, Florida. Just three days after
publication, Mort reacts to his new found exposure, all I can tell you is it has begun.
. . six calls from people who had no idea where I was. . . they just asked information or
looked me up on the computer. He maybe running again?
EDUCATION KILLS: So, our reporter
had just returned from the City Council hearing with the latest buzz on the Department of
Healths plan dealing with the prospect of a re-infestation of mosquitoes carrying
the West Nile or encephalitis like virus. I asked, hey, what are their plans?
Now, elsewhere in the paper, we give a more
comprehensive and fair presentation, but his first response struck me.
"Education," he said. "Theyre going to spend a good portion of the
$2-3 million requested to educate disseminate information."
Now, I believe in education! Not to make
fun of anyone, or any sincere effort to combat and or prevent the crises that we in Queens
experienced last year, I thought Id take a shot at helping the Dept. of Health
launch their education campaign. We therefore, in good humor, offer our artists
rendering (above) of the launch of the Dept. of Healths big budget campaign.
Maybe well sell em online.
Hmmm! A t-shirt and a can of OFF!
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com
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