Saturday, August 3, 2013


(Published in Gazette Newspapers, on occasion of her 73rd birthday)
GAZETTE NEWSPAPERS EDITOR'S NOTE: Our columnist Rose Moore has taken this, her 73rd birthday week, off to celebrate "stayin' alive." In place of her usual column, she allows us to run her own parody of the famous Jenny Joseph poem, "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple." (Our apologies to Ms. Joseph)
WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN, I will turn purple at my birthday party, and revive myself when people dial 9-1-1.
I'll dine on jelly beans and ginger snaps and coffee, and circulate hot rumors all around the town about myself.
I'll be haughty with the sales clerks who carry only tiny sizes, and I'll skip obituary pages in the morning paper, just in case my name is there.
For my health, I'll wear a copper bracelet and rub my skin with mink oil and start my day with fiber laced with M&Ms.
I'll paste a smile on my face for make-up; and I'll refuse to tan and soak for hours at the spa, where I might wrinkle into nothing and be mistaken for a raisin.
I'll ignore the TV ads for PolyGrip and grown-up diapers and those ugly chairs that stand you up, and I won't let Ed McMahon seduce me into pre-paid funerals, or elder magazines or cheap insurance.
I'll cultivate a mellow air of wisdom, and when the young folks seek advice, I'll tell heroic tales about the past and lie to them about the future.
I'll let my dwindling eyesight go, for that will let my mirror lie to me, and it will also help to camouflage the cobwebs, dust and dirt.
I will not dance the hokey-pokey at your wedding or spend my days at Big Lots trying to save a dime.
I won't hang out at craft fairs or in bingo halls; I will not go to quiet towns in Florida for shuffleboard and golf; and most of all I won't go into places where the young are not allowed to go.
I won't bend over in my garden in a flowered muumuu; and I won't let the Beauty Ladies tint my hair in any shade of blue or cut and kink it into scouring pad or Orphan Annie hairdo.
I'll wear strong necklaces in case I ever want to hang myself, and of course my friends and loved ones know that isn't likely.
If I'm forced to trade down to a dinky little car, I'll let the neighbor kids paint flowers on it and glue a wind-up key upon the roof, and they can ride around with me and make a lot of noise.
If you ask how old I am, I will not hear you; and I will not criticize the young except to God, who has been around awhile and sympathizes.
I may someday build a pedestal and designate myself an icon, but I will not speak of growing old until I'm well into my 90s, if I live that long...
And then I'll hold that very private conversation only with myself.
(You can email Olde Rose at, because someone young has finally helped her figure out computers.) 
(ATTACHED PHOTOS OF Olde Rose missing a few teeth at age 7; and old Rose now, at age 73, with a special K9 friend).

Friday, August 2, 2013



   My name is Mick. I am a great big dog. My mama person and I just played a good long game of soccer. I don't really know who won, but she wore out before I did!...
   Uh-oh, here she comes again... a bit on the slow side, I'd say...

   NOW COMES Game #2--"Weeding versus Dispersal."
     The term "versus" indicates opposing teams---my mama person being the one-woman "Weeding Team", and me being the one-dog "Dispersal Team."
     Dispersal means I dance away with the weeds before dispersing them back to the gardens when she isn't looking!
     (Here's where we could use an umpire!)
     These are strictly intermurals; there are no leagues for K9 vs. Mama games.
      That's because my mama always wants to make the rules!

Rose Moore's photo.

   A favorite half-time concert---a new one, and I love it---is the music of an August afternoon.
   I discovered it today.  
   It is the song of the cicada, and it always sets you up for a siesta.
   The best place to enjoy this is when you're lying flat in the shade of a beautiful tree.
   My mama person joined me in the audience for this performance.
   Not every place in our America has this magic music.
   But my mama says that every place SHOULD!



Wednesday, July 31, 2013


 Newspapers are essential to the truth
For many years, newspapers have insisted on knowing the source, and having proof of the source, of a letter to the editor. Even if, for good reason, a newspaper will run a "name withheld" letter, it will still insist on proof from whom the commentary comes. There's an important reason for this; without that necessary and careful precaution, a lot of rumors, untruths, innuendo and damage can be done.
This brings up the issue of newspapers vs. electronic journalism. News in an internet website, more often than not, is anonymous or close to anonymous, and yet too many people automatically, or by habit, accept it as truth.
Yet there is no accountability in internet news. Anyone anywhere can post anything on line, and even if it "looks" like a legitimate site, you can't know for sure if you don't know who's posting it. You don't know if it's researched from good sources, or if it's researched at all.
Even if you realize the posting doesn't bear the ring of truth, you as a reader have little option in correcting or protesting the written content. If you feel the posting is a blatant lie, or if it has damaged you, your community or your nation, who do you scream to; where do you protest; how do you set it right?
A newspaper, on the other hand, sends its reporters to local political and official meetings and happenings, and the reporter's story of the meetings are screened by editors before the printing, to assure truth and clarity. In addition to the reporter's byline, each of the people along the chain from editor to publisher are listed in the masthead, where you will also find contact numbers and addresses.
Perhaps because of this ability for the reader to protest or question a story directly and more easily, or perhaps because the printed journalism culture is so markedly different than that of electronic journalism (including TV and radio), newspapers tend to be more careful to get the story right. Getting the story right, to us, means presenting it more fully and keeping the line strong between truth, half truth and outright untruths. Untruths and half truths, after all, can arise from simply leaving something important OUT of the story.
Printed journalism, unlike electronic journalism, has to answer for a good long time (perhaps forever) to its correctness, incorrectness, truth or untruth. A newspaper story will exist forever in print through a broad number of historical and genealogical archives, where its stories will be forever open to censure and judgment.
Even with that other electronic journalism known as radio and TV news, the expense of air space has led to a sound-bite framework that shallows things out. Sensationalism has become more and more the draw, and the line between journalism and showbiz is blending more and more. And, as with the internet, the whole truth is often hard to find.
We the newspapers (weekly and daily) don't present our news in sound bites. The closest we might come to sound bites are our headlines. But there is a full story printed beneath each headline, going into depth as to individual circumstances, the history of an issue, the different sides of controversy (with direct quotes attributed to the people who made them).
It's the newspaper system that does the bulk of analytical and investigative research used by radio, TV and the internet. The results are lifted from newspapers by electronic journalism, without compensation. From that point on, the newspaper organizations' footwork can be chosen selectively and warped and twisted into the blogger's slant, means or motive.
In this get-your-information-quickly age, younger people seem more and more prone to accepting what they read on the internet, without further study. Even students' research reports these days are often written from the internet, and educators could probably attest to the fact that these reports are often strikingly similar to each other or exactly alike. That shows that little individual research is being done. It becomes a matter, again, of passing on half truths or untruths.
In the eyes of more and more people, the internet is to the printed press what email is to "snail mail." But fast is not always best. It takes more time to brew the truth, and truth is an important commodity and a safeguard of democracy.

If newspapers should eventually disappear, you would miss us for a myriad of reasons.
And you just don't know it yet.

CUTLINE: This 16-year-old photo displays a favorite pursuit of one of Rose's granddaughters. And though she seemed to enjoy immersing herself in her grandmother's newspaper, journalism is not among this girl's career goals today!


"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," wryly wrote the early journalist, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) in the 1800s, as he squelched the widespread rumors that he had died.
Clemens might have laughed as well at the off-and-on reports ever since, sounding the death knell for newspapers themselves. But newspapers are still with us.
The most credible predictions of their death have been more recent, as newspapers have been competing with electronic journalism, and even competing with their own print publications by simultaneously publishing their news on-line.

And now, as I write this, my Cleveland morning daily, the Plain Dealer, is about to switch to three-times-weekly delivery. Subscibers like myself will have to get dressed and go to town to buy the in-between printed editions, or get their news on line. Groan... (I am a creature of habit, and reading my newspaper over coffee each morning, in leisurely fashion, is one of my favorite habits).

I hope I never see a time when there actually ARE no newspapers; I love them and I always have. As a child, I loved them so much I decided even then I wanted to be a newspaper woman.
I started on that road officially in the 1950s with the daily Painesville Telegraph, which sadly is a newspaper that did die, after reaching the pinnacle as the oldest of Western Reserve newspapers.
The news world in which I began in those "old days" placed a big Crown Graphic camera in my hands, with its heavy battery pack around my shoulders and large "film plates" in my tote bag. Unlike the "big city" news people, we doubled as our own photographers, and I loved that too. I saw my photos as another way of speaking.
Our news rooms of that era percolated noisily with the clang and clatter of linotype and teletype machines, the clunk-clunk-clunk of manual typewriters, the whirr of photo-engraving machines, the incessant ring of desk phones and the comfortable cocoon of human voices...
The mammoth presses, when they were running, seemed to own the building; we couldn't sense our heartbeats above the roar. We had stringent dress codes, yet our sleeves were ever-soiled with the grit of carbon and metallic dust. What was not to love?
At no time did I regret that I had chosen news. There were sad and tragic moments to be sure, but you could meet those moments carefully, and in the process you could grow, and sometimes even be of help or comfort.
And in what other line of work could I have shared words with a rock star, symphony musician, beachcomber, pro athlete, auto racer, bridge builder, sharpshooter, politician, actor, astronaut, stunt pilot... the proverbial "doctor, lawyer, Indian chief"... and an infinite variety of others?
I walked and talked with organ donors and receivers; documented flood and fire and accident; lent my shoulder to a mother whose child had died on the highway...
My camera caught the gleam of a teenage beauty queen, and the gnarled fingers of an elder teaching a young boy how to tie a knot...
I wrote of hearth and home and garden; dined on Great Lakes freighters; tasted homemade cookies in a Coast Guard station; wept with searchers as they pulled a tiny body from the lake; sat through smoky council sessions; wired stories home from distant places...
In more-recent years, I came into the best of places for an aging news hen like myself---a chain of weekly papers. I learned that weekly papers really care about the local.
They print my words in black ink on a newspaper page... Far more personal, in my mind, than words across an electronic monitor. (And unlike the TV news, the words don't holler out at you).
I don't believe the world will ever give up on newspapers; not completely. The other day I found a little bit of proof. Over coffee with a morning paper, I read about a printed version of an electronic journalistic blog, to be culled from the internet and distributed---you guessed it---in the form of a newspaper page!
(You can direct comments to Rose Moore, devoted forever to newspapers, at
CUTLINE: "There's nothing like sitting at the table in the morning, with your head buried in a REAL newspaper. I have noticed that even my very modern son Bryan, when he visits from the west coast, starts his mornings with coffee and a newspaper!"---R. Moore