The Wonder of Facebook


Ahhh, the wonder of Facebook. You start a thread and you never know where it will lead. On Friday I posted this photo, taken for me by a fellow volunteer at the Brandywine Festival of the Arts. after former News Journal colleague Bill Tudor had helped me hang this posterized print, and about a half dozen others, for Larry Anderson, the festival’s featured artist.

Well, the post stirred up some interest in the Festival, as was intended, since I handle publicity for its promoter, Barry’s Events, but it also stirred up memories for many others who had worked with Bill and me.

It brought comments from former colleagues in Ohio and Michigan, a ¬†couple of whom asked how Bill was doing these days. Friday marked the first time I had seen him in about 10 years and I’m glad to report that he’s healthy and lives close enough to Brandywine Park to walk down and help with setup for events like this.

The photo triggered more conversation for onetime NJ reporter Valerie Helmbreck and her Friday night dinner guests, who included an unnamed NJ alum (but I’m quite sure I know who it was) who turned up for dinner with memorabilia that included a stapler that belonged to the recently departed Bill Hayden.

I’m not going to try to recount it all in this space, other than to say that the names mentioned in the thread date back to the Wilmington paper’s glory days in the 1970s, and the discussion ranged from Hayden’s borrowed stapler to the deterioration in the quality of obituaries, as newspapers shifted from having professional writers do the work to charging the kin of the deceased (working through the funeral homes, of course) for the privilege of writing their own. Valerie, by the way, promises to write her own — and I’m quite certain it will be a joy to read … although the actuarial tables would suggest that it’s unlikely I’ll ever have the opportunity.

The thread might not be of universal interest, but if this tease is enough to intrigue you, feel free to check out my Facebook page.

See, you hang a picture, you post a picture, and Facebook brings you back in touch with old friends halfway around the country … and sometimes from halfway around the world. (Valerie was posting recently about her trip to France, so I’m pretty sure some of her friends on the other side of the Atlantic have at least checked out portions of the thread.)

Amazing how communications have changed. When we were putting together newspapers in Wilmington in the 1970s and 1980s, we hardly anticipated the demise of print journalism, and we could scarcely imagine that a picture from an art festival posted in a relatively brand-new medium would prompt a lively discussion about the way things used to be.

Ahhh, the wonder of Facebook.



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