Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Few Belated Noteworthy Mentions

Note to Reader: I must admit that these important mentions are indeed belated. I would’ve liked to have you think I wrote it in a more timely manner, except there is no escaping the tell-tale date at the top of this blog. . . .

One of the most common sayings (usually by those 50 and older ) is, “My, How Time Flies.” And no one probably knows this better than Cleveland’s First Lady of Rock Journalism, Jane Scott. Last week, Jane celebrated her 90th birthday at where else? The Agora Back Stage Café. The venue was a fitting place for this awesome occasion as Jane has seen literally thousands of back stages in her long lifetime. For those outside the rock music world, let me tell you a bit about Jane Scott. Her long career with the Plain Dealer began in 1952 as assistant society reporter. By the early ’60s, she began covering several sections, such as the society, along with the teen section. She referred to this as her “Pimples to Pensions” beat. (You gotta love her). For the next four decades, Jane (who didn’t retire from the PD until she was 80 years old) became THE rock reporter and was visible at pretty much every rock concert that took place in the Greater Cleveland area. One thing about Jane, she never was a “critic.” She merely reported the who, what, where, when, how, and sometimes why, of the music makers. She’s interviewed all the greats and the not-so-greats. Well, except for one: Elvis Presley. Though she has often said, she hasn’t given up on yet .
Jane’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal, People magazine and of course, Rolling Stone. She was even in a pornographic magazine (Now I could leave that hanging and tell you you’ll have to read all about it in my book, but I wouldn’t do that to my readers!). But while I have no room for the fun details where Jane tries to explain this happenstance to one of her church members, I’ll simply say that her article from the Rolling Stone was reprinted in that magazine . . .
No, there is no one else like Jane, and never will be (I still marvel at all those years of late-night concert hours she kept throughout her 60s and 70s, when I, a mere whippersnapper at 50-something, has to be in bed by 10 – 11 on weekends). So Happy, Happy Birthday to our very own Rockin’ Jane. And God Bless You.

Speaking of great journalists, and here’s where I’ve been remiss again (Though I have had a reminder note on my desk for at least a month!), I wanted to say how honored I am to know such noteworthy award-winning writers right here in Cleveland. A few years ago, Connie Schultz received the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, which was a great moment for all of us who struggle daily with the written—and just the right—word, and of course was absolutely deserved. Now in just a few months, some of my other favorite writers have been honored as well. The News-Herald’s Janet Podolak was recently honored by the Society of American Travel Writers. She is the paper’s travel and food editor and was my mentor back in the ’80s when I was just getting started in this field. Plain Dealer columnist, Regina Brett, was this year’s finalist for The Pulitzer in the Commentary category for the second consecutive year. And the accolades keep coming for Plain Dealer’s Joanna Connors for her captivating and well-crafted series about the rape and attack she endured while on the job in 1984.
Congratulations to these great writers who I continually learn from. (I've always said, learn from the best).

And here’s to a SUNNY day in Cleveland, Ohio.
See you next time.

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