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June 01. 2014 9:58PM

Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Getting it right with kids, the comics and the rest of the paper


 

IKE WATCHED me carry up various lawn furniture from their winter cellar dwelling space the other day. (Being an optimist, I am counting on at least five days with temps above freezing and rain at less than an inch per day this summer.)

Ike stared as I struggled with one of the heavy wicker chairs.

“Only one chair at a time, Pop-pop?” the kid asked in all seriousness.

His timing was impeccable. I was just about to quit the whole project but I couldn’t very well have the grandson thinking me over the hill. So, after I caught my breath, I went back down and brought up a foam cushion to go with the chair.

Ike’s younger brother, Mike, is to be graduated this week from some form of pre, pre-school. If the kid makes it all the way through, I am told that he will have participated in three years’ worth of such commencements before he gets to first grade.

Offered the chance to attend the ceremonies or to watch Ike and Mike’s little brother, you can guess where I will be. But I have ordered a copy of the video.

I am happy to watch Spike, but my iPhone will be out of his sight. The kid is all of two years old and already thinks all things large or small belong to him.

He pitched a fit the other day when I declined to let him and his grime-covered paws near the device.

“I want my iPhone!” Spike shrieked, apparently not seeing the humor in the situation. He will have to learn.

Learning isn’t just for the young. I continue to learn that people are passionate about their newspaper.

That passion includes pure, unadulterated loathing as well as fondness when it comes to the comics, which is why I may wait awhile before again messing with the natives.

Readers are also passionate about errors in the paper, which is the sole reason we continue to sprinkle a few throughout the newspaper on a regular basis.

One reader wants to bet $100 that he could find at least one error in every issue in the span of one month.

That’s a sucker bet. I bet I can find at least two. Of course, the same goes for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Podunk Evening Blade. It is the nature of the business that the first rough draft of history, as newspapers have been called, are going to have a mistake or two. That’s why it’s called a rough draft.

The trick is to get the big things right, and, if we are wrong on the big things, to correct them, which we do.

See you in the funny papers.



Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @Deucecrew


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