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Bright Week       Tuesday, April 17 2001

Pleasant discoveries

One of last week's entries enumerated several pleasant discoveries I'd had on the day of writing and said a third pleasant discovery would be shared later.

Now it's later. After asking your input on the group that put out a c-minor arrangement of Over the Rainbow around 1959, it occurred to me to try finding it in the Teen Ten, my own compilation of popular songs for the teen columns published in the Journal in those days. I wanted to say "those years," but to my surprise, apparently the Teen Ten ran in the column for only approximately one of its five years of existence. That's not the pleasant surprise.

Looking for those song listings was the first extended time I'd spent going through my scrapbook since I created it, around 1962. Over the years I had glanced through it and shown it to my mostly disinterested growing children. But the few times I opened the scrapbook I had been more embarassed than pleased. I found it hard to believe how green I was and how corny much of the writing seemed, at a glance.

Of course, I had been an editor of newspapers, beginning with the Journal from 1963 to '65, and magazines for over 20 years...I had taken my graduate degree in journalism at UCLA, worked some years as a freelance book editor, and for more years as a part-time writing-for-publication teacher in adult education. I had been the founding director of California's premiere service organization for writers and editor of its magazine for four years.

So I was embarrassed to see the corniness of those salad day efforts. But the pleasant discovery was that I didn't need to be embarrassed. Most of the corniness was intended...I was consciously modeling the output of writers like Walter Winchell, at that time the best-known columnist in the United States. And usually, with a big helping hand from editor Andy Rogalski, the columns stood the test of all those years. Maybe over time I'll share some of their contents here.

I didn't find the Over the Rainbow rendition I was looking for listed in the Teen Ten. But after repeated efforts on Napster, I think I've found it there. At least there's a minor-chord arrangement by the Dimensions (or the "Demensions," as the source of the file I found puts it) which, if not the one I remember is a "cover" of it. Does that name ring anyone else's bell?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

A wise jury

A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense's closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.

Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But, you all looked on with anticipation. I therefore put to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty."

The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.

"But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door."

The jury foreman replied, "Oh, we looked alright. But your client didn't."

Sent by Mike Harrison

The icon

This is allegedly a true article that was printed in a southern newspaper less than a year ago.

An atheist couple who had a child never told their daughter anything about the Lord. One night when the little girl was 5 years old, the parents fought with each other and the dad shot the Mom, right in front of the child, then shot himself. The little girl watched it all. She then was sent to a foster home. The foster mother, a Christian, took the child to church. On the first day of Sunday School, the foster mother told the teacher that the girl had never heard of Jesus, and to have patience with her.

The teacher held up a picture of Jesus and said, "Does anyone know who this is?"

The little girl said, "I do. That's the man who was holding me the night my parents died."

Sent by Virginia from Millvile
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