Summertime Reading

Jun 26, 2023 by Rose O'Keefe

In Business, I learned about a Geneva man, Josephy Hatfield, and his distinctive g-f barbecue sauce, and new strap-in wheelchairs for air travel. The Opinions Page and Speaking Out were as lively as ever about medical liability, banning book ban laws, pricey weddings and culinary ketchup crime.

My favorite was Jim Memmott’s “Remarkable Rochester” column about his start as a freelance journalist while working in the North Country. His excitement over freelancing for the New York Times which used “Special Byline” instead of his name, led his mother to assume afterward that he had written all NYT articles with “Special Byline.” Aww.

His 1979 article about a Canadian daredevil who was supposed to launch himself across the St. Lawrence River in a rocket-powered car, had Memmott’s usual wry touch. Even without that first byline, Memmott started at the Times-Union in 1980. Full disclosure, I joined the T-U in 1986 and he was one of my bosses.   

I was surprised by the 1967 Newbery Award winner Up A Road Slowly, by Irene Hunt. Hunt’s portrayal of Julie, a girl who was sent to live with her prim school teacher aunt from ages 7 to 17, was more honest than I expected.  While gradually seeing beyond the surface of her holiday father, alcoholic uncle, and the norms of country life, she set herself up to become a competent writer. Well done. #amreading; #DemocratandChronicle; #JimMemmott;  #RemarkableRochester; #NorthCountry; #NewberyAward; #UpARoadSlowly; #IreneHunt;