Face cards

March 22, 2004

One last ACES conference post: These are business cards I amassed; each has
a little story worth passing along.

Mike Fuhlhage teaches copy editing at the University of Missouri and helps
get the student paper to press. He’s the guy who went to the Southern Culture
on the Skids show with us. He’s a tall, baby-faced guy in his mid-30s who looks
to be about 22. I consoled him that the upside is that when he’s 85, he’ll look 70. One
of the funniest dudes I’ve met in quite a stretch, reassures me that copy desks
needn’t be mountains for the morose.

Mary Ellen Slayter works on the financial desk at the Washington Post. Probably
the rockingest woman in the profession — she had a story about the Skids that
cemented my determination to see them. I forget what it was because, well, there
was too much wine in me. She also has a way-cool tattoo on one arm, which I
took as proof that the newspaper biz may achieve coolness by the time her grandkids
are old enough to work in it.

Patricia Marroquin used to work at the Mercury News, which is where she and
my boss, Linda, became friends. She’s also worked at the L.A. Times and the Dallas Morning News before taking over the copy desk at the Ventura paper, where her husband’s in charge of design. Patricia was part of the posse I declared Coolest in America after the Skids show.

10 Responses to Face cards

  1. Nicole on March 22, 2004 at 9:20 am

    Great job blogging from the conference, Tom. Those of us who weren’t there appreciate it!

  2. tom on March 22, 2004 at 9:48 am

    Nicole: thanks. So as to prove i’m still incapable of accepting a compliment graciously, I must point out that I saw at best one-fifth of it, because I had to miss four sessions for every one I attended.
    I was the only blogger writing about it, so there’s my version and the official version at the ACES website, and that’s about it. That might make my stuff seem a bit more valuable than it actually is.
    Maybe next year we can have the infrastructure in place for live blogging of the conference, with a responsible ACES member assigned to blog each session. I say responsible because ACES has to be careful about just opening up the whole thing to public feedback — the presenters get a round of applause at the end and the satisfaction of helping their colleagues, but not much else — so the fear of having their efforts ridiculed online could be a demotivator for future volunteers.

  3. Mary on March 22, 2004 at 9:59 pm

    Awwwww. I am blushing now. It was great to meet you, Tom! Maybe I will whip up a batch of banana pudding at the Testy Copy Editors conference.

  4. sid on March 22, 2004 at 11:35 pm

    I carry my Mary Ellen Slayter business card around with pride, knowing it makes me hip just to have one.
    What color is her hair now?

  5. tom on March 22, 2004 at 11:45 pm

    Sid: a normal color.
    Next year you need to be there. Tokyo is the perfect preparation for Hollywood.

  6. sid on March 23, 2004 at 5:36 am

    I will try to be there!
    If I’m not lost on a mountain somewhere, forsaking all things journalism for a simpler, more-naked life.

  7. Mary on March 23, 2004 at 9:47 am

    Wait! Is this Stars & Stripes Sid?

  8. tom on March 23, 2004 at 10:19 am

    He could answer that but then he’d have to … well, you know how that line goes.

  9. sid on March 24, 2004 at 7:22 am

    You’ll never take me alive.

  10. Mary on March 24, 2004 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t understand why you insist on resisting.