Saturday, March 02, 2013

Behind the scenes

I did not have the privilege of raising a daughter, and if truth be told, I was terrified at the idea that I would give birth to a girl because I did not think I would be a good mother to a female child. Even so, I think I can do a fairly reasonable job of imagining what these parents of this young woman might have felt recently.

Your attractive daughter is a high school senior, and she is popular enough to have been nominated to be the Hoop Queen and will be crowned at the upcoming homecoming basketball, game. I am not sure how this is done at the local high school; perhaps the boys on the team pick the girls who will be candidates… or the entire senior class, or a committee, and then they are voted on.

Excitement and/or dread have been building for several weeks, getting just the right dress for the occasion, getting her hair done, and finally the big day arrives. You go to the homecoming basketball game and during the half-time ceremony your daughter is indeed crowned Hoop Queen. A photographer is taking pictures as she is crowned and photographs of the homecoming court, and you eagerly go to the newspaper office the following Tuesday to pick up extra copies of the paper to send to out-of-town friends and family.

And are in for a big surprise. The photograph of your daughter being crowned Hoop Queen is indeed in the paper; in fact, it is on the front page, at the bottom. There she is… a lovely picture of her back, and admittedly, the back of the dress that was chosen with such care does have some very interesting details. There is a perfect shot of her boyfriend, who is happily placing the crown on her head and grinning from ear-to-ear.

Richard informs me that it would violate the copyright law if I put this very strange picture on the blog without permission, so I guess “1000 words” will have to do. The newspaper redeemed itself a bit by at least printing on an inside page a picture of the queen and her court so their faces can be seen – just barely -- but we just could not figure out “what were they thinking…”

We do not hold ourselves out to be experts on newspapers or what makes a good newspaper, but we did publish a community newspaper for some years in Southern California, and there are just some things a good newspaper is supposed to do… and this was definitely not it.

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