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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Sunny side up! (02/14/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns
I was just thinking (that’s my nature.) Wouldn’t it be surprisingly pleasant to receive a newspaper with nothing but uplifting, human-interest stories and positive editorials, poems, and columns? As I ran the bright idea past Pat, he looked up from the newspaper he was buried in, and gave me his “are you nuts?” frown, absently stating “it would never sell!”

What if there was such a paper with only optimistic and heartwarming news! That would mean that the police blotter would not be run there. Wedding announcements, anniversaries, and babies born wouldn’t be over-shadowed by divorce notices and court convictions. I recall newspapers back in the ‘50s ran lengthy, newsy articles about each wedding, describing the attire, decorations, music, honeymoon, and special moments. A bit more romance in our lives couldn’t hurt.

A section called “Heart Warmers” wouldn’t arouse interest in everyone, but I still believe in the compassionate spirit of human nature, that there are many folks out there who are sick and tired of incriminating headlines, political rhetoric, reports of urinating in alleys in the dead of night, and feature stories that are often slanderous, one-sided, and very depressing. Such a publication could ignore crime stories and arrests, and not be haunted by a civic obligation to cover current city squabbles, derogatory journalism, detailed accounts of crime scenes and fatal accidents. Why? There’s already an abundance of that on television, in other newspapers, telltale magazines, and daily scuttlebutt festering down at the local cafe. Who needs more of the same?

Paying homage, obituaries are bittersweet eulogies, highlighting lives that are now being mourned by loved ones and those who had befriended and admired them.

Bittersweet is okay. Alongside babies born, a heading might read, “Comings & Goings.” Boo – hiss!

Such publications should be sports sensitive, taking into consideration those forsaken football and baseball widows. They’ve been deprived of many productive hours, when hubby could have been helping around the house and sharing quality, Bud Lite time catching up on his honey-do list. “The Good Sport.”

Letters submitted, to be selected by the editor, would have to meet a criteria consisting of smirks, giggles, belly laughs, praises, wayward tears, kudos, and the submitters, gift of gab. No more crybaby, crabby, condemning, campaigning, crass criticizing, condescending, or cheese head conniption fits!

You may ask, who in the world would read a conglomeration of “Minnesota nice” stories and gushy praises to those unsung heroes and do-gooders all over Winona County? What could such an offering of upbeat journalism be named?

I’ve been tossing a few ideas around, in my over-loaded, bogged-down, age-dulled, and off-plumb thinking chamber. Not to be too corny, simple names like “The Rainbow’s End,” “Good Day!” “Bright Side,” “The Good Times” might work, or “The Good Stuff.” Too much goodness!

Columns featured could be entitled, “Hearts of Gold,” “Funny Bone,” “The Best of the Story,” ”The Truth of the Matter,” the “What’s Blooming Blotter” and “Pet Talk.” Bow wow! I’m thinking (again!); wouldn’t it be pleasant to discover a newspaper on all the doorsteps in your neighborhood with a headline that reads, “Daycare mom shares secrets of peace in the playroom” or “Eight-year-old boy reforms grade-school bullies!”?

That’s when I woke up. It was a strange dream. My mind demanded an interview! After writing what I could remember, I sighed into the first rays of a new day’s sun, peeking in over my shoulder, as I sat at my computer screen.

A sappy newspaper like that would never make it! What was I thinking?!

Janet Burns dreams up all these far-fetched articles at her home in Lewiston. She can be reached at patandjanburns@embarqmail.com.



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