We have been warbling in our pages about inexpensive stuff (see our July 1 cover story on living in the recession) and free stuff (see page 33 of this issue on freecycling, the organized disbursement of household treasures, gently used clothing or furniture, right down to and including the kitchen sink (and even the old kitchen cabinets).

But we may not have said enough about the free stuff in our own newspaper. We mentioned free ads for jobseekers and for singles, but we did not mention the free listings posted every week in our “Opportunities” section, which this week appears on page 27.

Among those listed in this issue is a request posted by a church for a “full time organist, as well as substitute organists for music for a prelude, three hymns, solo, and postlude with professional soloists, no choir. One Sunday service on a new Allen Renaissance organ.” Even better, for musicians trying to eke out a living in any economy, the church is willing to pay: $150 per Sunday.

The church has already had good luck with the U.S. 1 opportunities section. In submitting the current request, a church member thanked us for the previous posting, for a soloist. “I must tell you,” the church member wrote, “Thanks to you and ‘Opportunities’ our church found a wonderful soloist! She was sitting with a friend in a theater talking about her lack of performing opportunities. Our soloist’s friend had a U.S. 1 sitting on her lap, and it just happened to be opened to the Opportunities page. She saw the word, ‘auditions,’ handed your newspaper to our new soloist, and she said, ‘Hey, here’s an audition!’ The rest is history.”

So free information exchange, just like free stuff, abounds. By the way, for those of you ogling any of the stuff used as props in Craig Terry’s cover photograph of Judy Kutin, don’t get too eager. The double-sided kitchen sink came from an editor’s cluttered garage. At the end of the day, with the sink still in the back of his car, the editor got home and stopped at the curb before parking. He put the sink on the sidewalk. An hour later it was gone — informal freecycling is also alive and well.

Summer Fiction

Next wednesday, July 22, our annual Summer Fiction issue will be published. It will remain in circulation for two full weeks until our regular publication schedule resumes on Wednesday, August 5.

Since we try to publish as many submissions as possible, and since we squeeze them into every available inch of space, we will not know the final composition of the issue until shortly before it goes to press.

So writers and poets: Please look for the paper on July 22. And remember, whether or not your work is published, we appreciate your effort and hope you will join us at our annual writers’ reception, the time and place of which will also be announced on July 22.

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