June/July 2014

June/July 2014

Now that’s not very groovy. A laid-back pizza chain born in 1974, when peace allegedly guided the planets and love ostensibly steered the stars, has gone corporate by closing one of its stores hereabouts. Without officially advising its staff. A “Closed” sign reportedly went up on the store’s Facebook page before appearing on the front door. Then came a sign explaining “interior progress” was underway (which sounds a little like est at Esalen). Then a sign saying “closed for good,” which has its own philosophical dimensions, if you think about it. (Corporate HQ did not).

RIP. Lady Mary Soames, the youngest and most famous daughter of a wildly famous father by the name of Churchill, just died at 91. An accomplished writer and political wife like her mother Clementine, she was also an avid cigar smoker most of her life. She quit a few years ago, selling off the family cache of Havanas for $220,000.

The next one will be called Poof.com. A free magazine in Toronto in the mid-‘90s called Vice is now a digital something with music, tattooed staff, social media, and an audience whose size is a bit unsure. Value: $1.5 billion. The impulse by media giants to acquire it is stimulated by its seeming hold on the youth market, large numbers of whom are unemployed.

A confusion of tongues. After English, Spanish is by far the most common language in every state of the Union, but you don’t have to be smarter than a fifth-grader to know that. And if you look at American households as a whole, German is the most common language after Spanish (surprised?). State by state, the No. 3 spot gets wildly diverse: Native American languages like Navajo and Dakota, lots of Korean and Vietnamese, and a multitude of colonial holdovers, including Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, French Creole, and Tagalog.

The Great (and Perhaps Oddly Circular) War. World War I started 100 years ago this summer with a teenager assassinating an archduke. His Grace was apparently riding in a car with the license tag A 111118. The conflict ended four years later on 11.11.18.

Sprezzatura Department (Division of Understatement). One weekend traveler we know struck a pavement seam on his bike and slid along a sidewalk at about 20 miles an hour. “In other news,” he said to colleagues in an email. Another traveler, flying high above California the same weekend, calmly emailed her family after an engine exploded and flames shot out on the wing, forcing the plane back to LAX:  “Exciting take-off news,” she wrote.

Success at Wimbledon. “Wisdom has served me well,” says Venus Williams, tennis impassionata. “I’ve worn my sunscreen so I haven’t aged terribly.”

Summertime, and the children are crazy. A 13-year-old and his buddy called home from basketball camp. “Dad,” the alarmed youngster yelped, “there’s no toilet paper. Can you send us some?” “Send you some? How am I going to send you some?” the father replied. “You could FedEx it,” the boy suggested. A few minutes later he called again: “Dad, it’s okay. The guy in the next stall had some.”

Quote to note: “Love means having to say you’re sorry constantly, and at least three times before breakfast.” – Deborah Ross

Thanks for reading,


In the same week, The Ledlie Group concluded our largest-ever design and printing job for our newest client (656,000 pages produced in the U.S. and China) and began again our longest-running design project (its 14th year). We are grateful.

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