Hooray for Word Power! Last night, I attended a marvelous celebration of the written word at my alma mater U.S. 1 Newspaper where Publisher Rich Rein gathered all the contributors (amateurs & professionals) to laud and expound on their Summer Fiction Issue’s poems and short stories. Writing enlightens both she who creates and he who reads. Good for you Rich!.
Hooray for Word Power
It was a marvelous celebration of the written word. Last night, as U.S. 1 Newspaper’s first freelance writers, I attended founding publisher Rich Rein’s celebration of their Summer Fiction Issue. One of Rich’s brilliant editorial brainchildren, the Summer Fiction Issue invites amateurs and semi-pro writers to submit a short story or poem which he and his dedicated staff publish in this absolutely delightful, 60-page anthology.
You could feel the passion in every submission. Rich stood before all those assembled, calling up the poets to share their words aloud, and then invited each short story contributor to give the details behind their tales, while he followed with praiseworthy points and anecdotes. Boy, do we writers need more of this. Writing warms and enlightens both she who writes and he who reads. Lyrical words poignantly reveal the human mind and soul at its honest utmost.
Amazed, I listened to tales of brick walls scrabbled over, blizzards bringing stormy contemplation, glimpses of real desires laid bare in diners, offices, and at the end of a bayonet. In an age when the pen and the creative mind driving it get crammed continually from broad avenues to ever-briefer alleyways of expression, Rich’s Summer Fiction Issue stands as welcome relief. So allow me to add my personal hip – hip – hooray to this unleashing of the grand power of the printed word. And as a post script, if any editor or media host is really seeking what concerns lie most prominently in people’s minds, you have only to scrutinize this paper.
Wishing you every success,
– Bart Jackson
Recently hosts of Princeton TV’s Cue the Lights show Misha Meyer and Rachel Bierman brought Bart Jackson on their interview talk show to discuss travel tips for the independent journalist and explorer who is traveling abroad. These high-school age interviewers ladies are proof that top media talent lies waiting in the wings. Below is a sample of the article written right after the show by Donald Gilpin for the Town Topics, as he talked with the hosts and Bart:
Teens Host Entertaining, Eclectic Talk Show “Cue the Lights” on Local TV
June 2 – NJ Senator Chris Bateman thanks Bart for his continued volunteer services and donations to the South Brunswick Public Library. Bart’s wife Lorraine ably directed the library and saw it through three major expansions throughout her career. Later, at the Library’s celebratory Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, Bart presented the Director’s Choice Award to that employee whom Library Director Chris Carbone judges to have contributed the most to the Library over the past year. The award, which Bart and Lorraine Jackson founded and sponsor, provides the winner and her/his best beloved a getaway weekend to the paradisal spot of their choosing – all expenses paid. Proof that hard work and dedication pay off.
Don’t Vote – That’ll Show ‘em
When Thomas Jefferson said, “I fear the citizens of this land have no idea of the power they possess,” he might well have been targeting the lackadaisical citizenry of the Garden State. Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6, the people of New Jersey are called to the polls to vote in the primary for their governor. A turnout of between nine and 14 percent of the eligible voters is expected.
New Jerseyans, like most Americans, appear tired, and very, very sick of politics as it is being handled by the current crop of politicians. New Jersey’s waning Governor holds a historically low approval rating, scraping the single digits. Nationally, more than two-thirds of the nation disapprove of the President’s job, while Congress labors diligently to prove itself bought, paid for, and unaffected by the public will.
So is this the time for the American voter to rollover and play dead?
If you would like to absolutely guarantee more of the kind of politicized governance we now are experiencing – stay home tomorrow. Send a message to those in power that you truly do not give a damn what they do. Show them that you are, as one party refers to the public, just “Joe Six-pack,” and you prefer to be led by whichever sloganeer grabs your nose ring. Get bored and you will truly achieve the kind of government you deserve.
New Jersey has four major and several smaller party candidates running for Governor. All of them have labored hard to inform you what they believe, and to win your vote. One of them even has invested $16 million of his personal funds to tell the public his plans for governing the state. Each candidate is worthy of your consideration.
We stand on the verge of getting the government we desire. So I beg you remember Mr. Jefferson’s words: Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people are its only safe depositories.
Wishing You Every Success,
– Bart Jackson
“People have fought and died for the right to be judged by a jury of their peers.” The instruction video had announced it to the 300-some folks sitting in that basement room of the Middlesex County courthouse. Now the Judge Vincent Leblon had just said it again to us of the 40-person jury pool in his courtroom. And for petit juror 0689, these words struck home.
I was fully aware that today, most American citizens would be battling almost as ferociously to avoid sitting on a jury as our forefathers had to win us this vital freedom. Previously, upon learning of my notice to report, all my friends had audibly sympathized with my being called up and proffered their best tips for wrangling an excuse from serving.
Yet here I sat, in the eight-person jury box, having dodged several sidebar questionings each of which could have won me an excuse. The dental surgery could be postponed. I could re-schedule the two radio shows, and pass on my friend’s funeral. The judge had convinced me – serving on this jury was important. Then, during the final round of questions one of the lawyers deemed me not to his liking and I was dismissed. There would be no trial for this citizen. My life could get back to normal. No exciting interruptions, all my best-laid plans could take place. Life could resume its predictability. Although a bit relieved, I walked out of Middlesex County Courthouse with a sigh.
Wishing You Every Success,
– Bart Jackson