DUNDEE, New York - For most of the summer, I have been chasing stories for the Elmira Star-Gazette, the Ithaca Journal and Mountain Home magazine (out of Pennsylvania). All have been fun stories and/or stories where I knew what I was writing/photographing/publishing would be well appreciated.
Over the past weekend, I went to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival where I managed to find some friends pouring wine for their amigos (who own a winery) and voila! I was able to publish a photo of them, which promos their friends' winery quite nicely.
Plus, of course, they liked seeing themselves in the newspaper.
LINK: Monday's Wine Festival article in Star-Gazette
Then Tuesday morning there was a feature I had written about a local guy who is raising alpacas.
His hobby turned into a business that now has his entire family hard at it with a entire production of making yarn and products for sale.
He's living the dream which I chronicled and also gave a helluva boost to his business.
Right after it was published, I received several emails from people asking me for good directions to the ranch and little store. Multiply that times the circulations of the two newspapers and the family is in for a windfall.
It deserves it.
LINK: A passion for alpacas...
The experience this summer has taken me in a time machine back to when I started in the news business, writing hard-hitting, expose-type stories mixed in with features just like these. Looking back, the softer pieces may have made a bigger dent in the cosmos than any 'gotcha' story I ever wrote.
It's fun to make people happy.
I once took a photo and wrote a story about a local boy scout leader whose son had attained Eagle Scout - no small feat when your dad is the big kahuna of the troop. I can still see them standing there, posing for the photo. And the next day, when the photo and story were published, the dad came in and bought 50 copies of the newspaper.
One proud papa.
Professional journalists will often scoff at such stories, but know in their hearts that they count for a lot.
Nice to be reminded of it after all these years.