Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Laura Kessel said I will have to announce myself as a blogger.

I said why.

She said it’s because my readers from coast to coast to coast, and as far away as Texas and Timbuktu, have been reading this column by calling up The News-Herald on their computers, clicking on “Opinion” and finding me there among the other columns.

But I will no longer be there. Now I am a blog. Relax, I will still be home delivered and on display at your local drugstore. But if you are out-of-state you will have to read my blog.

I am not quite sure of all the ramifications of being a blog, but she said don’t worry, it will be OK.

It wasn’t my idea. I never asked to be a blogger, even though there are people in this country to whom blogging is the most important thing in their life.

I never read their blogs. I don’t care to. But I have heard about them, and some of them must be real creeps.
I have it on good authority that there are thousands of bloggers who are certifiable dopes (not you, for heavens sake), who have I.Q.s in the 60 to 70 range and spend entire days trying to stir up trouble.
Not me. I am peace-loving guy. Go ahead, ask anyone who knows me.

Some bloggers are terrorists who are busy hatching plots against the government. While I am a great believer in free speech, I also believe some people should be horse-whipped for their stupidity, much of it evidenced in their blogs.

I repeat, I have never read a blog. These are just things I have been told. But I believe them. Consequently, there is not much good that I can say about a blogger. And now I am one of them!

Geeze oh man, as Dave Anderson would say. He says that often. I never knew before what it meant. But now that I am a blogger, I know what Geeze oh man means.

It means that leading a clean life can lead, if you are not careful, to the world of blogdom, which is reputedly somewhere near the land of Ooh Blah Dee.

I told Laura I don’t know if my readers in faraway places will want to read me now that I am a blogger. I have to admit it is kind of embarrassing.

She says they won’t have any choice. Oh, I will still be home delivered around these parts. But people who live in Florida, Arizona, Texas and California who depend on me for commentary on the local scene and local happenings will have to find me on the blog.

They will probably have to type in a secret code so they can find me, and I don’t know what it is, so I will leave space here so Laura can type in my blogging code.

Laura, please type in the following blank space how readers can find me by way of the great big wide world of blogdom.

From Laura: You can find Jim’s blog by bookmarking either “” or by going to, and scrolling down to the fifth blog on the page, which is Jim’s. While you’re there, check out the 19 other staff-written blogs, none of which are written by a terrorist. And, if you go to, you’ll find 16 blogs written by area residents on topics such as parenting, fitness, starting a business, area history and couponing. None of them are terrorists, either. Back to Jim.

Now, then, let’s get on to something more important. First of all, I got some incredible responses to the column I wrote wondering who the reader was who made a CD for me of songs by Jo Stafford.

My friend in music sent me an e-mail, as did a number of other people who wanted to help. His name is Phil Iorillo and he lives in Mentor. I will tell you some Sunday what he said and what a number of other people had to say about Jo Stafford and the related topic of “burning” CDs.

But that will have to wait.

Today I want to tell you about something else. It is about losing things, and it’s a column I want to put down on paper before I forget it.

I organized my thoughts while lying in bed the other morning, waiting until it was time to get up — and also waiting for the dogs to stop licking the back of my neck and my hands.

If it’s important for you to know, it is Maggie who licks the back of my neck and Tricia who licks my hands. They usually do this while the lady of the house is in the kitchen, squeezing my morning orange juice.

You can be sure that when I jump out of bed, I give my hands and the back of my neck a thorough scrubbing while I am in the shower. Make no mistake, I love those puppies dearly. But their dear little tongues have been places I don’t even want to think about.

But I digress. Here is what I wanted to tell you about losing things. I hate losing things. It makes me crazy when I lose things.

I go into a frenzy when I try to find things I have lost. And I lost my favorite pen a year ago. That is a long time to be in a frenzy, let me tell you.

I have written before about how much I hate to lose things. And I have described the futility of looking three times in the same place for something I have lost. If I look in a drawer for my favorite pen and it isn’t there, and I look two more times in the same place hoping it will appear, do you know what that is?
It is borderline insanity. I am guilty. Lock me up.

The pen that I treasured once said Marous Bros. Construction on the side, but the inscription has long since worn off.

It was a light blue and silver pen, with a clicker on top to use the ball point at the other end. Since then all three Marous brothers have given me pens, but they are not the same. The newer ones are very dark blue and silver but have to be twisted at the top to reveal the tip. I don’t like to unscrew pens. I like to click them. The company has another new pen model. It is a very pale blue metal (the blue part of the others is plastic.) It is not nearly as good as the one I lost, which I knew was a Paper Mate because of the two hearts on the clip.

I have two other very special engraved pens of which I am extremely fond. One I received from the late world renowned brain surgeon Dr. Robert J. White, which says “James K. Collins” on the side.

The other was given to me by Paul Anka, the singer, when he was appearing at Musicarnival decades ago. It says “James Collins” on the side. I wouldn’t part with either of them. But I really wanted my original Marous Bros. pen back.

Well, a funny thing happened. The other day I wrote a check for my real estate taxes, put it in the envelope addressed to “John S. Crocker, Lake County Treasurer,” and got out my Real Estate Taxes file, which I hadn’t opened in a full year.

(I pay my taxes for the entire year because I don’t want to hear from John for another year. Nothing against John. He is a Great American. But I want to get a bill from him only once a year, not twice.)
There was a tiny bulge in the center of the tax file. I checked it out.

Eureka! It was my long-lost, blue-and-silver Marous Bros. pen with the clicker on the top.

I clutched it to my bosom. I held it up and turned it around and looked at it, over and over.

It is now in my shirt pocket. I hope I never lose it again. If I do, I will really go crazy.


Anonymous Amber J Chapman said...

Always a joy to read your column Jim!I laughed out loud all the way through the blogger/blogging references! Welcome to Blogdom my friend. Though you might feel like you're on the Island of the Misfit Toys, we are happy to have you! Now I'm excited to subscribe to your RSS feed :) This could be a good thing;) OH! By the way, I'm glad you found your pen!!!

March 6, 2011 at 6:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Collins!!! My goodness, believe it or not but "some one" in a far away place is looking at your blog!! ME!!!!!!! I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You and I met years ago at Gavi's when I turned to you and said "Who are you????, Jim Collins...everyone knows you but me!!" I hope you remember that evening, I never will forget it, I met The "Jim Collins." Thank you for making me remember what a fun character you are. Best to you in Blogland.Kim

March 8, 2011 at 3:38 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home