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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Young women of Millville are all "Miss" winners

By Jessica Allen

April 20, 2009 | MILLVILLE ­ On Saturday evening seven girls participated in the Miss Millville Pageant at the South Providence Stake Center.

All the girls that participated in the annual event were juniors in high school and most of them did it out of enjoyment, said the coordinator of the pageant, Karlette Johnson. There would be no winner and and it would not be treated like a competition. Johnson said each girl would receive a tiara and flowers at the end of the pageant for their participation.

“I did it because it wasn’t like a normal pageant, and I was also threatened by friends that I better do it or they would pounce me,” Darcy DeHart, one of the girls that participated, said when asked why she decided to do the pageant.

DeHart explained that a lot of her friends didn’t live in Millville and had wanted to come and watch her do it.

The pageant had a presentation slide show with five pictures of each girl to introduce them, followed by a guest speaker to say a few words to the girls.

The speaker, Kristen Thacker, had four “beauty tips” as she called them that she wanted to share with the girls. Thacker’s four tips were to celebrate their differences, to not be fooled by what the world bombarded them with, to stay away from danger and to always smile.

“[Smiling] helps break down barriers that divide us,” Thacker said, “and if we do these four things we will have a greater influence on our family and friends.”

Following Thacker’s speech a talent portion which the girls had the option of doing took place. Five of the girls chose to perform with a variety of talents.

Janece McMurdie and Felicia Webb did a short dance routine together for the crowd, and Andrea Ferrin played a folk song on her fiddle titled “Ashokan Farewell” and was accompanied by her younger brother Zan on the acoustic guitar.

Tina Morgan sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while accompanied by her father on the piano, and Jamie Johnson performed a piece she had composed on the piano titled “Alec’s Song,” which she had written for her brother.

Kenzie Croft said she decided not to participate in the talent segment, though her brothers and dad thought she should have taken up a pole and demonstrated fly fishing as her talent.

DeHart said she declined as well, as she said she thought she didn’t have any talents that could be displayed on the stage in front of a crowd.

All the girls participated in last two segments of the pageant where a mini biography was read as each girl came out in their formal dress with their escort. The mini biographies had been written by the parents or another family member and shared the love that the family felt for each girl and shared the goals and insight on their personality.

The last part of the pageant was the crowning of the girls. Each pageant participant received a tiara and a bouquet of flowers as their pictures were taken by a professional photographer.

Johnson explained that the Millville City Council had a master list of girls that were juniors in high school, when asked about how they contacted the girls.

“I formed a committee and we just met and split up the girls to make sure they [had] everything met,” Johnson explained as to how she and the other volunteers were able to accomplish setting up and running the pageant.

Every year the pageant can be performed differently than the one that preceded it depending on who volunteers for the committee and how they want it to be run, Johnson said.

In the past the girl or girls that were crowned could perform in The Dairy Princess Pageant of Cache County, but it was disbanded last year, Johnson said.

This year the pageant “[gave] the girls a positive outlook and they have the opportunity to ride on the Millville floats,” Johnson said about what the girls that participate gain from the experience.


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