Publisher John Johnson

Just about every black family I knew in the 1950s and 1960s received EBONY magazine easch month. It was the black version of LIFE magazine. In fact, the red and white logo was purloined from LIFE magazine. Many black families also got JET, the pocket-sized newsweekly. Collectively, they represented the dreams and the reality of living in America at that time.

These and other magazines were the creations of John Johnson, who died today at the age of 87.

Not so incidentally, I still have EBONY and JET coming to my house.
Seems like I’m talking a lot about death the early part of this week. Strange coincidence. There ARE more joyous stuff to write about as well. Seemsd that every time I leave town, I want to write about THAT, but end up writing about something else.

This too shall pass.


I was content to post not too much today, I really was, but then I heard that Peter Jennings had died.

When I was growing up, it was Huntley/Brinkley in our household (the reason I know the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 9th), then Walter Cronkite. When Cronkite retired in the early 1980s, I tried a number of folks: Chancellor then Brokaw, Rather. But eventually I found myself gravitating towards this Canadian fellow.

I think I found him more credible because he was somehow more the observer. I think his disastrous first shot at the anchor in his 20s made him work harder. Perhaps my favorite moment was on September 15, 2001 when he was talking to kids about the attacks, compassionate, yet not jingoistic.

When he said he’d be back when he went off the air in April, I figured, for a while, that maybe he would be.

The network has no clear choice to replace him. The folks who have been substituting for him already have a job (Elizabeth Vargas on Prime Time) or two (Charles Gibson on Prime Time and, more importantly for ABC’s bottom line, Good Morning America.) Koppel is set to leave Nightline soon to do his own thing.

As I’m sure all the news analysts are saying, the triumvirate is over, which is neither here nor there for me. But the passing of Peter Jennings is one that fills me with some sorrow. It’s strange that when you “invite someone into your home” electronically, you can get feelings of sadness when they’re gone.

Too Darn Hot

I was away this past weekend, which I’ll tell you about soon, so I wanted to get some piece done last Thursday for today. I even had a couple topics picked out to write about, such as this story about a 42-year old female high school teacher who apparently had sex with a 16 year old and 17 year old boy, and how some of the national press has salactiously pounced on it as though it were national news. I think they’re looking for the next Mary Kay Letourneau.

Unfortunately it was too darn hot to write (the weather, not the story). After decent conditions last weekend, the hot and humid weather has returned. There have been 13 days over 90 this summer, and 2 of them were last week.

Not only that, the power went off (again) Thursday afternoon for 45 minutes. At 7 pm, it was 88 at the Albany airport and 85 in our living room.

Unrelated to the weather, but relavant to blog posting, I had found some material that just needed typing, but it has since gone missing, tempoarily (I hope).

So, I’m going to keep it short and share with you my favorite summer song. I think it’s the way this “royal” man says “beer.” And I don’t even LIKE beer.


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