Hodgepodge: June 16, 2012

Roy Hodge

by Roy Hodge

I never reminisce about my earlier days at The Fulton Patriot without thinking about my good friend, Eleanor LaPointe.  Eleanor came to work at The Patriot sometime in the 70s and from her first day forward I would venture to say that there was never a dull moment.

I was thinking about Eleanor when I wrote the following column Feb. 1, 1994:

“Eleanor LaPointe warmed the seat next to mine in The Patriot’s production department for many years. I spent many hours immersed in Eleanor’s good humor, trading barbs, sharing stories, and once in a while getting a little work done. Aside from working together for almost two decades, we became close friends, also sharing a devotion for Dixieland jazz and good times wherever they might happen.”

I continued by re-printing a column I wrote in 1979:

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

“Those words of wisdom are printed on a sign prominently displayed over Eleanor LaPointe’s work space at The Fulton Patriot. Eleanor saves herself a lot of time by pointing to that phrase frequently during the week.”

I could have easily added this to Eleanor’s sign:

“I know you think I know what you’re talking about, but I think you’re saying and I’m hearing two different things.”

But I continued: “Among other things, Eleanor is responsible for sifting through thousands of words which make up the paper each week and eliminating those nasty little obscenities better known as typographical errors.

“Most of the time, Eleanor’s eagle eye is a life saver. Like the time she deleted this little gem from the Patriot’s columns:

“‘John Zagame has declared that most of the county’s brides are obsolete.’ Assemblyman Zagame had just finished a tour of the county’s bridges.

“Then there are those times, like last week, when the computerized monster in the back room which helps turn out the Patriot’s columns goes berserk and Eleanor’s desk becomes a mass of typographical mumble-jumble.

“It was on a day like this that Eleanor went home, and just before she kicked him through the window, her husband John asked, ‘Who the devil proof read the Patriot this week?’”

“Eleanor is also the Patriot’s official word expert, setting the staff straight on the difference between such toughies as counselor, councilor; principle, principal; personal, personnel; stationery, stationary.

“All in all, Eleanor is important in the well-being of each issue of the Patriot.

“You wood bee amaized too sea the misteaks wee wood maik each weak without hur.”

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

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