Cherish the Kids

Corrections or additions?

This was published in U.S. 1

Newspaper on April 21, 1999. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Who would have guessed that U.S. 1 Newspaper, the chroniclers

of the new age of technology, would spend not one or two but nearly

seven pages of its editorial "hole" previewing the forthcoming

25th anniversary edition of the New Jersey Folk Festival!

But there it is, beginning on page 30 of this issue, continuing to

page 35, and then ending up with another Folk Festival artist’s story

on page 48. How come? Partly it’s due to the persuasion of the festival

organizers — students at Rutgers’ Douglass College — who hoped

that the editorial muscle of U.S. 1’s Preview section could help create

the annual program book to be distributed at the festival itself on

Saturday, April 24 (it did).

Also, we suspect, it’s because U.S. 1 over the years has been populated

by a cast of baby boomers who still have fond memories of indigenous

music that reflected some truths about the times in which it was created.

The computer consultant who created U.S. 1’s original database system,

Frank Ruck, is also an accomplished folk guitar player. Pete Soloway

of Lan Solutions, which helped U.S. 1 set up its local area network

of computers, turns out to be an accomplished musician who plays the

fiddle and other instruments for traditional dance groups.

Richard D. Smith, a former U.S. 1 staffer and freelance contributor,

is also a bluegrass performer on mandolin and is completing the definitive

biography of the legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe. Preview

editor Nicole Plett, born and raised in England, grew up steeped in

the traditional music of the British Isles as well as the American

folk and blues tradition that paved the way for the protest songs

of the 1960s.

And our boss, Richard K. Rein, whiles away his Sunday evenings listening

to John Weingart’s "Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio" on

WPRB. Even U.S. 1’s designated Generation-Xer, Pete Mladineo, until

recently our expert on heavy metal, new age, and hard rock music,

in his spare time plays and sings the blues on acoustic guitar. His

hero: Leadbelly.

Make no mistake: U.S. 1 was not started by a band of folksters; nor

did anyone from U.S. 1 attend any folk event to recruit workers. All

these folk inclinations were discovered over time. And we suspect

that lots of other Information Age companies harbor similar bands

of folk music enthusiasts. After all, with the right spring weather

you may find more than 10,000 of them on the green pastures of Rutgers

University, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the New Jersey Folk

Festival. Maybe we will see you there.

Top Of Page
Cherish the Kids

U.S. 1 contributor Phyllis Maguire makes a strong case

in this week’s issue for taking one day out of the year to give our

children a realistic, behind-the-scenes view of our workplaces. See

page 15.

At the same time, a letter writer who asked to rename nameless, makes

an equally strong case for giving our kids a break — letting them

be kids before anything else. The letter was in response to last week’s

Survival Guide item on kids and money — our item reported that

"contemporary society places an almost sacred value on childhood,

protecting it from the intrusions of adult pressures."

But, as the letter writer argues, society makes up for that with a

host of other pressures: "Contemporary children don’t have time

to just be kids! Their typically overachieving Princetonian parents

have them juggling heavy schedules. Karate, soccer, music lessons,

photography class, theater group, gymnastics, scouting (the pressures

of cookie sales!), and a slew of other `enrichment programs’ are just

some of the events children I know have scheduled every week!

"These kids need a Daytimer just to keep track of it all. Hearing

an eight-year-old breathe a heavy sigh and say, `My life is such a

mess’ is quite an eye opener."

Children, especially those with disabilities, were on the mind of

another writer. Robert Stack, CEO of Community Options at 16 Farber

Road, writes regarding Princeton University’s appointment of Peter

Singer to a professorship in bioethics at the university’s Center

for Human Values. ". . . As an advocate for people with disabilities,

I challenge Dr. Singer to either an individual or team debate in a

public venue to confront his belief system. . .

"Community Options is a nonprofit organization that supports persons

with disabilities and their families through living, working and recreational

options. Community Options also helps to facilitate friendships among

people with and without disabilities to raise the public’s awareness

about the contributions persons with disabilities can offer. . . "

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