Monday, September 22, 2003

Clark, Kerry & Dean Have Nothing on My Patrick

As the race for the White House heats up, you can perhaps be forgiven for having missed noticing another presidential race. Yes, the presidency of St. Gregory the Great School in South Euclid, Ohio, was also up for grabs last week. It's a fine school known for its distinguished list of graduates (including astronaut Carl Walz) who've gone on to do great and good things for the town, the country and indeed the galaxy. And yet the media coverage of that race was sparse to non-existent, owing no doubt to the fact that General Clark's entry into the other race sucked all the oxygen out.

So let me be the first media outlet to report the splendid news: my Patrick (a.k.a. Pattie) won, along with a young woman named Lane (whose family owns the kid-favorite Winking Lizard restaurant chain). You see, in an intriguing gender-balancing technique no doubt designed to ease the never-ending battle of the sexes, the school has co-presidents, one from each side of the gender fence. You'll no doubt see this news picked up by the AP today and subsequently flashed around the world. In all seriousness, though, we couldn't be more psyched. These kinds of early and unexpected successes are the kinds of things that, when planted in a kid's brain, can change their very self-conception. Patrick, whom I wrote about on his birthday, always knew he was a smart boy and a pretty good athlete. But I doubt he saw himself as a leader until an impossibly kind, life-affirming teacher who shall remain anonymous suggested to him out of the blue that he ought to run. That simple invitation inspired him to work many hours on two uniquely creative campaign posters (one bearing the likeness of Einstein and playing off his famous E=MC2 theory) that might well have tipped the race. In fact, my friend Jim O'Hare, who doesn't have any kids at St. Greg's but who nevertheless happened to be at the school recently helping a high school client with its marketing, noticed the posters and ran out to his car to grab his digital camera to snap photos of them. He later emailed them around to our mutual friends, with a teasing note. And so, digitally preserved, I'll make sure those posters get up on the web where I can link to them sometime soon. Okay, enough about my kid...

Listen for Eric on WCPN Next Tuesday at Noon. In my never-ending quest to keep putting bloggers and blogging on the local media map in slow, steady and sustainable fashion, I gave some thought recently to a simple question: who's the best, smartest and most probing media interviewer in Cleveland? The answer presented itself almost as soon as the question was formed: why, Ideastream's Dee Perry of course. Long a staple for her unhurried, gracious interviews on WCPN's Around Noon show, you may have grown to like her for the charity of her tone, for the way you can hear that big splitting smile in her voice. More recently, with the entry of the Ideastream merger of WCPN and WVIZ, she also gets in some face time on the equally good Applause TV show.

Anyway, I figured that we ought to pitch Dee on interviewing a blogger or bloggers. But in doing a bit of background prep before calling her with that suggestion, I found out that she'd already beaten me to the idea. A week from tomorrow, Tuesday the 30th of September, Dee is scheduled to have our boy Eric Olsen of megasite Blogcritics and the microsite Clev-Blog on After Noon. Do make sure to tune that in. As anyone who was at the May Blogfest knows only too well, his verbal pyrotechnics are well worth the price of admission.

Angel Investors In Our Lives. And finally, I enjoyed the nice addition my long-distance pal Anton Zuiker made to my salute on Saturday to my former boss Paul Kantz. While I focused on how Paul provided invaluable tangible and intangible support to my editorial independence while editing the JCU Magazine, Z, in his signature way, digs even deeper. He recounts how Paul, on just a day's notice, came up with crucial and significant financial assistance to help him complete his degree. And Anton goes on to wonder aloud if he ever really thanked him properly. Do we, can we, ever really thank those angel investors in our lives enough to recognize their contributions? Writing about them is surely a start. But I'd say an even better way is to pay it forward, living lives that help and inspire others in ways that mimic how we've been helped and inspired...


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