Quite A Turnaround
I’m calling to thank you so much for choosing the cover of the paper on July 9. The title was “What’s so funny?” and it shows Santa and a psychiatrist, and the artist is Gahan Wilson. I just would like to say that I myself, like so many other Americans, was laid off work at the beginning of this year and have been suffering with some depression and some security issues, financial concerns, and was at a real low point in my life at the time that the cover came out. It changed everything for me, emotionally, spiritually. I’m so grateful to the Reader for choosing that for the front cover. I’m so grateful to the creator, Mr. Wilson. I spoke to your receptionist, Linda, about this and who he is and that he’s a 79-year-old cartoonist who’s been doing this for a long time.
I just want to thank the editor, in particular, who chose this front cover. It was so important to me, I have it on my refrigerator, I have it as the front cover for a self-help group I go to, and I also took extra copies of the paper just to have that cover. My goal is to somehow, with permission from the creator, have that as my Christmas card.
Life is very interesting the way it takes turns and things change. A loss oftentimes in my life turns out to be a winner and a plus.
String ’Em Up
Please publish the current ground rules for submitting articles for your “Stringers” stories because for now I believe the requirements appear to be as follow:
— Appeal to anyone with a minimum seventh-grade education
— Last chance for wannabe reporters/writers for publication
I propose you raise the bar and begin charging a modest amount for each “Stringer” story and double that amount for any story concerning Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach because we already know an O.B. or P.B. story will concern bumming, boozing, or, in general, hedonism, which we can see at any time in graphic detail on cable or satellite TV. Furthermore, the basic rule should be that the story should be of interest to the general public and not just some particular neighborhood. One might compare the interests of Northern California to Southern California, whose considerations are often at odds and of little concern to one another. Similarly, as a North County resident, I am not concerned that some obscure road in some remote area of San Diego County is being widened or otherwise under construction, nor am I curious that a taco restaurant or any other ethnic restaurant no longer exists, has changed its name, or peddles some other product than it did 20 years ago. Worst of all, stop publishing petty crime and other police incidents. We receive enough of that in the local newspapers and television and usually in greater detail.
To ensure “Stringer” storywriters adhere to your revised rules, the writer must have his/her mother or a schoolteacher scrutinize and endorse the story. Since this might stifle the creativity of many of your “Stringer” writers and result in too many empty columns in the Reader, replace their drivel with more articles by Don Bauder or some equally cognizant investigative reporter — stories such as those written a few years ago about the San Diego City pension scandal.
William A. Sladack