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I was talking to a former colleague from the Bangor Daily News the other day and – not surprisingly – we got around to remembering “The Headline.” Ask anyone who worked for the BDN in the 1970s and ‘80s about “The Headline” and they'll know exactly what you're talking about. I was down on the coast in the Ellsworth Bureau at the time, but I sure remember it, because it ran in our Down East Edition.
I'm talking, of course, about the headline that ran on Nov. 16, 1978, involving the Dickey Lincoln Dam project, President Jimmy Carter and Gov. Joe Brennan.
I won't run the headline here so as not to offend my more sensitive readers, but anyone interested in reading it can Google: “Dickey Lincoln Carter Brennan” and it's sure to pop up.
I still have the famous headline. It was the first entry in what would become my headline collection. It's in there along with all the greats: "Pants-maker to expand in rear," "Judge orders new hearing for deaf-mute" and "New Penobscot Bridge held up by red tape."
Every time I do a headline column, people start sending me some of their own favorites. For your enjoyment I now present four of the latest headline entries that have come sliding over the transom here at Storyteller Central.
-- Two men were fighting in an open field during a bad thunderstorm and one of the men was struck by lightning. Police eventually brought charges against one of the men. On July 8, 1994, a newspaper reported the incident under this headline: "Man struck by lightning faces battery charge." After being struck by lightening – who wouldn't?
-- A local medical center did an initial countywide study of obesity, but it wasn’t satisfied that the results were accurate, so another study was ordered. Headline: "New obesity study looks for larger test group."
-- A touching human interest story about a local chef who worked with soup kitchens ran under the headline: "Chef throws his heart into helping feed needy."
-- A Massachusetts resident who reads our column online emailed a story about a structure fire in his hometown that ran in the local paper under the headline: "Arson suspect held in Dedham fire." OUCH!
-- We'll end with an email sent from Down East. A while ago a man stole the electric clock off the wall at town hall. Headline: "Clock thief faces time."
Keep those headlines coming. E-mail them to: mainestoryteller@yahoo.com.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is mainestoryteller@yahoo.com.
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