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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.

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

Paradise Cracker Barrel restaurant back in the swing of things

By Aaron Mecham

April 24, 2009 | PARADISE -- Six months after the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Paradise reopened, executive chef and owner Annette Drew says business is very good.

John and Annette Drew purchased the Cracker Barrel in March 2008 and had to immediately close the restaurant to renovate and bring the building to current code.

John Drew said the building was built as two separate stores, the northern side was built first as a general store then the southern side was built as a café and they weren't combined into one until sometime in the 1980's.

A designer was brought in from Salt Lake City to help figure out how to use the existing building and make it work best with the menu and the theme of the restaurant, Annette Drew said.

"The menu dictates what will actually be in a restaurant, as far as flow, as far as equipment, as far as employees," she said.

Annette Drew has had experience running a restaurant, working at the Four Seasons Newport Beach in California before moving to Utah. She comes from a diverse professional history and has a degree in chemistry, but said she isn't the sole reason the restaurant is a success, and doesn't even contribute it to the great relationship she and John share.

"It's not just me and John that make the place it's the staff," she said.

John Drew said they have people coming from Salt Lake City and Preston and had a couple from Magna visit twice in one week.

The Cracker Barrel serves anything from trout to prime rib to hamburgers and milkshakes. They are open Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed Sunday.


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