Famous Elaine

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Famous Elaine - Media event overshadowed other teens'...
Media event overshadowed other teens' accomplishments It was sort of fun to watch, but also a journalistic version of Gresham's Law silly news drives out good that made some of us wish we worked in a more honorable profession say selling Bibles to recent widows. Or going house to house with a drum of used motor oil, offering to resurface driveways at bargain prices. Which is not to blame either party in the recent Shootout at Bound Brook High School. It's easy to understand teen-agers vearing white gloves to honor or imitate Michael Jackson, who did more for moon walking than Neil Armstrong, whoever he was. And it's hard not to sympathize with the school's administration, which, having survived Elvis and Beatles, knows how fads snowball and who, if they allowed funny gloves, probably feared that half the football team would show up in dresses next week telling everyone they were Boy George, Boy Harry, Boy Mike and Boy Ed. Plug in free speech, self-expression and kids will be kids on one side; school is for study and the rights of the majority on the other; and it might have made a good family squabble, something people at a class reunion would preface with a "Remember when...'! What happened, instead, was that TV cameras and newscasters like Gloria Ro-jas and Reggie Harris showed up, drawn not to the event as much as each other and what began as something local wound up on New York's Channel 2. And, because it was on Channel 2, was also on Channel 5. And because Jackson is big this week TIME'S cover and all Bound Brook made the 11 o'clock news. Tom Brokaw mentioned it on the national news. The military's newspaper "Stars and Stripes" had it and so did the BBC. This meant, since the TV news folk were so busy covering Kids for Gloves, and, as they have a gift for, over-inflating the importance of whatever they cover, that a number of other people about the same age were ignored. Elaine Brennan, for instance, a student at Plainfield High, was never interviewed by Reggie Harris or Channel 5. But since April 1982, she's put in 1,307 hours as a agj y, A Cose Look Bill Earls Courier- News Columnist volunteer at Muhlenberg Hospital, working the information desk, the adult day care center, and acting as a courier. Tara Blackford, a student at South Plainfeld High, volunteers in the emergency room and admitting office and works as a courier. She has 756 hours since April '82. Cathy Monales and Nancy Seladones, both of Piscataway High, also volunteer at Muhlenberg. Cathy has transported patients and done lab runs; Nancy has fed people who can't feed themselves. Cathy has 528 hours, Nancy 446. Gloria Rojas doesn't know who they are. And Vicki Henry of Plainfield is unknown to Channel 7. A student at Wardlaw, she has 228 hours in as a volunteer. While the media folk talked to the white glovers, Tim Coyne was wearing real gloves at Kupper Airport in Manville. Coyne, from South Plainfield, works as a line boy, refueling planes, towing them into position and tying them down to pay for his flying lessons he soloed in the fall. High school students Joe Hrubec of Metuchen and Dave Roman of Franklin will probably solo this month, too as soon as they reach their 16th birthdays. Don't count on Channel 5 to be there. While anything to do with Michael Jack-Son is appreciated by assignment editors, reading isn't as interesting. No appearances on the 11 o'clock news for Bridgewater-Raritan West students Scott Nicol, Paul Rawicz or Gary Silverstein; or Amy Toro of Bridgewater-Raritan East or Pamela Hundley of Somerville High. They all work as pages at the Somerset County Library, putting in 11 or so hours a week evenings and Saturdays for the most part shelving books and period icals, getting materials for people who need them and working the desk. No cameras at Bridgewater-Raritan West High School either, where 90 kids donated blood at the school's annual blood drive; where over a dozen teen-agers give up study hall every day to work with the special ed students; and where a talent show this week will raise money to fight leukemia. In Bound Brook itself, the cameras and the press missed the work of Scout Troop 43. About 44 kids, plus another 15 boys and girls in the affiliated Explorer Post, are busy collecting food and clothing for StarFish. One of the scouts in the troop is Bradley Berkowitz, who heads the Youth Fellowship at United Methodist Church and has worked with them on campaigns to end world hunger. David Follis, an Eagle Scout and also a deacon in the Congregational Church, works on the tape ministry program. He helps record services each Sunday and brings tapes and players to shut-ins so that they don't lose touch with the church. Tom Brokaw missed that.

Clipped from
  1. The Courier-News,
  2. 19 Mar 1984, Mon,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 7

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