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I began blogging in the early sixties. You read that right. That revelation occurred to me only today. It is amazing how a word, name or place will pop out of a page and events will come wafting back. The words today were “Lynn, Massachusetts” on Mark Sardella’s blog.

 

I suddenly remembered someone who lives (or lived) there. The Boston Strangler stalked somewhere in that vicinity. She used to talk about it. Her name is lost to the years and this is the first time I had thought of her in over four decades. The mystery person from Lynn was only a voice to me on a tape recorder. An 8-track? I don’t remember, but it is possible. Soon after another nameless voice came to me. This one a woman from Long Beach, California – then another from some western state where he was a radio personality. I was a young mother living in Richmond, Virginia. What did all of us have in common? Writing—entering contests to be precise where we finished jingles, wrote 25-word statements and named things.

 

The early sixties was a fertile time for contests and sweepstakes, which we considered poor stepchildren to what we called “skill contests.” I belonged to the Gold Dominion Contest Club which met at the Richmond Public Library once a month. In my early twenties at the time, the next youngest member was at least twenty years older than I, the oldest in her seventies, but we shared a love of creativity and writing. All had won a lot of prizes. Tempa Blanton had taken advantage of rampant contests after World War II ended and won everything in her kitchen—including the kitchen sink. She said in her youth she was told she looked like Judy Garland. If you squinted your eyes just right, she still did.

 

Oh, back to the early blog——  From a national contest newsletter, I hooked up with contesters from across the country. Soon a tape arrived in the mail. I listened to each tell of their lives and contesting experiences, then added my story and mailed on to the next in line. The tape continued to make its circle for several years with long gaps between arrivals. One day it no longer arrived and I never heard from them again.

 

Could they still be out there? Still contesting, or gone on to other writing, as I have? More important, do they know they might be among the first bloggers on earth? Okay, so it was a round robin tape, but a forerunner of coast to coast communication with strangers, don’t you think?

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Bloggers Call

 I feel as if I am the last one on the end of a telephone game, where we whispered a secret to the person on the left. When the final person announced what he had heard it had no resemblance to the original thought. Through the miracle of the web that should not happen here. A post on Kat’s random thoughts blog told us about a project that will publish a book of blogs with proceeds going to WarChild. WarChild is a UK based charity that helps children from all over the world.This from the blog <a href=”http://peacharse.blogspot.com/2008/02/youre-not-only-one10.html“>Peach</a> should get you going. Remember you have only until February 29th. Good thing it’s Leap Year. 

Peach gives the following guidelines.

We would like you to submit (to us at bloggersforcharity@yahoo.co.uk) a written piece about something you’ve been through from any aspect of your life that you want to share. It can literally be about anything: your relationships, your past, a road not taken, being a parent, an illness or your regrets etc. We’ve called it “You’re Not The Only One” to reflect the camaraderie of blogging To summarise:

  • You must be a blogger with a live blog
  • It must be about something you’ve been through, amusing or serious or any style you like.
  • You can submit in your blogname and remain anonymous, or not, up to you.
  • It can’t be something previously published outside the blogworld, but anything from your blog, or something entirely new, is fine.
  • Try to keep below 1500 words.
  • You must pimp the book on your site and buy it if you make a submission to be in it!
  • Please LINK BACK TO THIS POST to spread the word!
  • DEADLINE IS 29th FEBRUARY 2008 for submissions.
  • Send your submissions to us at bloggersforcharity@yahoo.co.uk

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  • Do blogs with dark background tend to contain more dark, negative, angry messages? Just wondering.
  • There is concern in the financial community about imminent stagflation. Welcome to fixed income retirees’ world.
  • I despise searching for information on a subject only to be connected to a video link. If I wanted to watch video I’d turn on the TV. With a few exceptions, I’d rather read to search for facts. It’s certainly faster and I don’t have to watch a commercial to get to the subject. I’m just saying: warn me. I’ll click another link.
  • Do birds of a feather really flock together? Not at our bird feeder. Cardinals, woodpeckers, bluejays, and titmice come regularly and they plan their forays together. The feeder is either empty of guests or a waiting line has formed. Perhaps we need to rethink the old saw about birds of a feather.
  • As I passed through a room yesterday snapping doors closed, straightening rugs, picking up stray flotsam from the floor, straightening pillows, my movements seemed eerily familiar. Flight attendant! That was the feeling I got in my bones. And to think I was turned away from that job many years ago because of my height. I guess I’m showing them.
  • Wedlock. I know it’s a perfectly good word, but just doesn’t sound good. Is that why we mostly use it in a negative way? Ever hear of anyone being born “in wedlock?”

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