newspaper

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A Shout Out to Teaneck Public Library, Teaneck, New Jersey

Published March 20, 2015 by Maryanne

 Teaneck LibraryTeaneck Public Library

A shout out to Jonna Davis and the Teaneck Public Library (http://www.teaneck.org/)

Today I was honored to present my lecture: “Newsies: History of the Newspaper Industry” to an audience of over 75 people. I’ve worked in the newspaper industry as a journalist most of my adult life and this is always my favorite lecture to present.

In my presentation, I take the audience back to ancient Rome when the first “newspaper” was carved in stone, up to modern times and how the radio, T.V. and internet caused a decline in the newspaper industry.

My credentials are that I wrote for New York papers: The Westsider and the Chelsea Clinton News (which is named after an area of NYC, not the former president’s daughter). I was also a journalist at The Montclair Times for seven years. After I left The Times, I went on to write for several online publications including The Paterson Press, where my feature articles also appeared in The Herald News. I also wrote for The Aquarian Arts weekly, a newspaper that is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For more information on my lectures, pricing and availability, please visit my website at: www.peartreeenterprises.com

Dear Abby, RIP

Published January 19, 2013 by Maryanne

Dear Abby

Genius “Dear Abby” sample, swiped from The Frisky

It’s the end of another era as we mourn the death of famous advice columnist “Dear Abby” who died of Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 94 a couple days ago.

Pauline Phillips was the real name of  “Dear Abby” (Abigail Van Buren) who started writing her column in 1956 at the age of 37 and shared the column with her daughter Jeanne Phillips in 2000, but by 2002 Jeanne started writing the column herself.

“Dear Abby” will always hold a great place in my heart. You see, growing up, there was always a Paterson News in our home. And in the apartment downstairs from us, my Aunt Sophie got The Herald News. “Dear Abby” was syndicated, therefore her column was in both.

I always loved to read — a lot! If I read all my children’s books and comic books, I’d go to cereal boxes. One day I decided I was going to challenge myself and read the newspaper. I may have been too young for newspaper reading, but I decided I’d just skip over the words that I didn’t know. Surprisingly, when I got to “Dear Abby” it was an easy read for a kid and I looked forward to reading the paper every day. I went straight for the gusto — “Dear Abby” and the comics section. Grown-ups were impressed that I was reading the newspaper at such a tender age.

Moving forward, I was pretty wise for my years. Always an old soul trapped in a younger person’s body. I think Abby’s wisdom had a lot to do with it. When I grew older I became the go-to person amongst friends; the one people would seek advice from.

Even in later years when I had some struggles with depression, I’d be in therapy and the psychologist would tell me that I should be a therapist! This happened not once, not twice, but THREE times, on THREE separate occasions, with THREE separate psychologists. One even thought I should go to school for psychotherapy! What an honor to be told that by a professional.

I guess reading “Dear Abby” religiously was a form of therapy and I learned so much from her, which is why I reap the benefits now and have an amazing life and know how to roll with the punches.

Now in modern times, when many people lack people skills and manners we could really use a Dear Abby. The world is full of selfish, lazy people who don’t want to work; people who prefer the coldness of texting and emailing rather than picking up the phone or visiting someone (or even worse, people who don’t even answer emails because they can’t be bothered); people who are always in a hurry, honking horns, slamming into each other with their shopping carts; people who are always trying to one-up each other as if life is a competition rather than a beautiful place to be that God blessed us with. It’s just ugly out there! No wonder I just love spending my nights at home with my wonderful husband and our kitties!

But like I said, the end of an era. “Dear Abby” is gone and she took a lot with her.

I thank this wonderful lady that I never had the pleasure of meeting for all her wisdom and pure common sense. I also thank her for, in a way, teaching me to read!

God bless Dear Abby and may she rest in peace.

Here is a fabulous article on her that was published on the CNN website: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/17/showbiz/dear-abby-pauline-phillips-obit/index.html

 

Aquarian Arts Weekly Makes Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Published May 12, 2012 by Maryanne

I am thrilled that New Jersey’s Aquarian/Arts weekly has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Aquarian debuted in 1969, but I discovered it when I was a teenager, circa 1980. I’d walk to the Quick Check across the street from my high school to buy the magazine when I was 16 or 17 to see what bands were playing. Not that the information did me any good, as we didn’t have “all ages” shows back then. So, the big thing, for me, was seeing what bands were in record stores signing autographs, or performing at Great Adventure.

Other than getting music news, the Aquarian played a role in my career — on a few levels. It was the first newspaper to ever publish a letter that I wrote. At age 17, I trashed another letter writer who put down punk rock. My letter had to be at least 500 words (hand-written, as there were no home computers for the middle class in 1981) because it took up an entire column! I defended punk rock and told the world that teenage girls knew that The Clash stood for much more than “Mick Jones is so cute.” And what great people The Plasmastics were because they were so loyal to their fans.

When I was 19, I started designing crossword puzzles by hand (the American Society of Mechancial Engineers later published one in their newsletter). Again — by hand — because there were no home computers to do these things on. While my idea for a rock ‘n’ roll crossword puzzle was declined back then (they later had someone else do them!) I got to speak on the phone with the founder, James Resinbrink, pitching my idea!

By age 28, I made it in the Aquarian again. This time, it was modeling for a Fender guitar promotion ad for Long & McQuade Music (a Canadian music chain, and the only store in the U.S. was in New Jersey!)

I was dressed in a black teddy, in the best shape of my life, with cherry red lipstick, and the headline to the ad read, “How Would You Like to Take This Baby Home?” And in a subhead, underneath, “Of course we mean the guitar!” Ooh-la-la!

Friends that I haven’t heard from in years called me up to say how “killer” that ad was!

A few years later, my friend, actor, Scott Schiaffo, had a feature in the Aquarian because he was the Chewlies man in Kevin Smith’s film “Clerks.” During this time, 1994 (I was 30), I was on a compilation tape with Scott, called, “See It Feel It Hear It Vol. 1.” I read my own poetry, with Scott playing guitar in the background. Scott promoted this tape in his article and once again, my name was in print in The Aquarian.

And finally, in 2002, at age 39, I had my own goth column in the Aquarian! I got to interview amazing people like: The Nuns, Diamanda Galas and Lydia Lunch!

During that time period I also did CD reviews and part-time copy-editing for The Aquarian.

The goth column was a short run, but I didn’t mind because I was working full time at another newspaper and also deejaying in NYC.

Who knows if I’ll ever be a part of The Aquarian again. It’s not something I’m actively pursuing, as I’m pretty burnt out on writing about music since during my career I’ve also written for music.com, Punk Magazine (which is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and participated in a column called “On That Note” for The Montclair Times.

There may have been more things of significance with my involvement with the Aquarian that I’m forgetting due to the fact that just so much that has always been going on in my life.

But, wow, I’m so happy that a music newspaper from New Jersey, that played a role in my life made it big time!

My husband and I will save the special pull-out section, as an ad for his 1980s band, Pharoah is also in there!