January 2015

January 2015

Remember the line about not getting into a fight with somebody who buys ink by the barrel? Frothing after seeing his name in the local daily, a Frederick city councilman took to Facebook to condemn the writer and threaten legal action. The Maryland newspaper then ran an article headlined: “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter.”

What was the name of that magazine again? Sports Illustrated just fired all of its staff photographers and says it will use freelancers.

Food for the troubled soul. No stranger to hard times himself, jazz pianist Scott Croly enters the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan every Wednesday, sits down at the grand piano, and begins to play. Homeless folks, mostly men, file in to be given lunch; they eat, smile and bob their heads. “It’s very peaceful to hear music,” says one man.

Unspoken words. He was buried 50 years ago this month in a state funeral, the first bestowed outside the British royal family in almost two centuries. Ten years prior, the great and the good had assembled in Westminster Hall to witness the unveiling of a portrait of him on his 80th birthday. “It is a remarkable example of modern art,” said Winston Churchill, of the Graham Sutherland painting. Someone got the message. The painting was never seen again.

Parenting done right. A Maryland couple calling themselves “free-range parents” put lanyards on their little boy, 10, and little girl, 6. “I’m not lost,” say the lanyards, and the kids take off – for school, home, the playground. You know, kid-type places. “We’re not doing anything illegal,” the boy said to a passing policeman. The officer begged to differ, and a child welfare investigation is underway. My own childhood included six-mile walks to and from school, both of them uphill.

And a happy 135th birthday too. Manhattan is miffed. The cardinal-archbishop wants to close or combine 112 of 368 churches – one of them Jacqueline Kennedy’s parish on the Upper East Side. Forty years ago a Romanesque structure in downtown Atlanta faced a similarly fierce scenario: Strip the only twin-towered church in Atlanta of its territory and make it a “hotel church.” The parish council quietly fought back (“We’re going to Rome with this”) and won, extracting a new rectory in the bargain. Now it has survived neighborhood strip joints, an arson-like fire, and at least one body dumped on the premises to become The Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

One time when it really is just business. Mary Liz Curtin, a small business owner, saw her suppliers begin calling themselves her “partner.” Her response: “We buy from our suppliers as long as their product performs well for us. They sell to us as long as we pay our bills. How in the world does that make us partners?”

(Probably Mount Kosciusko, 7000 feet) Our pal Mark Paterson in Melbourne has gone to the mountaintop and returned with the five commandments of crisis communications:

1. Don’t Lie. Ever.
2. Assume everything is “on the record.”
3. If you’re wrong, admit it.
4. If you don’t talk to the media, someone else will.
5. A call from the media is “an opportunity.”

One that might have been left off the list is “Never say ‘No comment.’ ‘No comment’ is itself a comment.” But we have nothing to say about that.

Quote to note: “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened.”—Winston Churchill, 1874–1965

Thanks for reading,

Forgive the length of this, but we thought you might like to know.

In 2014 we assisted a global manufacturing firm, a century-old law firm, insurance brokerage firms in Georgia and Idaho, institutes of higher education in New England and the far West, a down-home restaurant right here at home, a New England hospital, and a cancer support non-profit.

We also worked on a book on retirement with a financial advisor, a law firm helping bring to Atlanta an important new official, and a Southeast children’s foundation.

We completed our largest-ever design and printing project for one of the very largest cancer treatment centers in the U.S., using facilities in the U.S. and China (and 665,000 sheets of paper).

 All were new clients. As always, we are grateful.

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