Press and Sun-Bulletin from Binghamton, New York on April 19, 1999 · 19
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Press and Sun-Bulletin from Binghamton, New York · 19

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Monday, April 19, 1999
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LIVING Monday, April 19,1 999 Press & Sun-Bulletin 3C Wolfe assures Duke he's taking aim elsewhere BY SUSAN KAUFFMAN Scripps Howard News Service DURHAM, N.C. Duke University officials had reason to be pleased during a recent visit by Tom Wolfe, who was on campus late last month to speak at a fundraiser for the university library system. But they also had reason to worry. That's because the author who cut rich New Yorkers down to size in The Bonfire of the Vanities and parodied wealthy Atlantans in A Man in Full has begun work on his third novel this one about acad-emia. But to faculty members or alums who may have worried their beloved school would be ripped to snarky shreds in the pages of his next tome, Wolfe had good news: It won't be set at Duke. The university has Wolfe's daughter, Duke student Alexandra Wolfe, to thank. "Duke is not on the list," the white-suited author said. "I told the faculty at the meeting, 'Don't worry. My daughter's not going to let me do anything here.' " Instead, Wolfe is headed to Duke's alter-ego on the West Singers brought spirituals A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers, by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Raul Colon. (Atheneum; $16) (Ages 4-8) BY ANGELA BROWN TERRELL Gannett News Service Deborah Hopkinson, a children's book author, became intrigued by the story of how the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University came about at the end of the 19th century. The group sang to raise money to save the Nashville, Tenn., school that had been founded for former slaves following the Civil War. Based on a real person, Ella Sheppard, who used her musical talents to earn her way through school, Hopkinson weaves a fictional tale around a true event. Illustrated in warm browns, blues and gold by the talented Raul Colon, whose textured illustrations have a dreamlike quality, this book is informative and entertaining for children and adults. Hopefully, it will awaken a curiosity to explore further some of the lesser-known stories behind U.S. history. Hopkinson tells the story through the eyes of a young girl hearing about her great-great grandmother Ella from Aunt Beth, the family "treasure-keeper." Sheppard taught piano as one 'Fairmount' a BY SARA PEARCE Gannett News Service Strega Nona. Big Anthony. Nana . Downstairs. Bill and Pete. All are familiar to fans of Tomie dePaola, whose cozy picture books for toddlers and preschoolers have been fixtures in libraries, classrooms, bookstores and homes for decades. Now, dePaola is dipping into more complex territory: autobiographical chapter books for grade-school children. The series launched this month with 26 Fair-mount Avenue (G.P. Putnam's SonsPenguin Putnam; $13.99). It is 1938, quite a memorable year for Tomie. He is 5. His family is building its first house. His hometown, Meriden, Conn., is hit by a rare hurricane and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premieres at the movies. The book is populated by Tomie's extended Irish and Italian family, neighbors and childhood friends, many of whom we have met in previous books. He introduces the cast in black and Computers give today's photographers a BY RICK SAMMON Associated Press In the early days of photography, people took pictures and then took their film to the local drugstore or lab for processing. Dedicated shutterbugs went one step further: They developed their film and made prints at home. Today, photography has been taken to a new level of creativity thanks to fast computers, digital cameras, computer-imaging programs, desktop printers and online photofinishing services. The list of tools and toys for digital image-makers goes on and on. If you want to take advantage of the hardware and software that is available, you need several skills. The following is a list of just a few: Photographic. The age-old (,.. . ... BookSlliLf rr v N Vs. n I ; '; 4 ) A WOLFE Coast. He'll spend a few days this month researching his book at Stanford University, where miil-ticulturalism is a auricular must, scientists are encouraged to be entrepreneurial and the daughters of Bill Clinton and Ken Starr both walk the campus. Wolfe will return there in May for a month as a guest of the Communications Department. A Band of Angels by Deborah Hopkinson melds fact and fiction. of many ways to raise money. The music teacher, George White, impressed by her singing, asked her to join the chorus. And she soon began playing piano for the singers, too. The students learned classical pieces and "popular songs of the day that white people sang." And they also sang freedom songs learned from slavery days. But soon, the school was threatened with closing because of its dilapidated school buildings and no money to repair them. The students were alarmed because without Fisk, they'd have no chance to improve their lives. But White true story of a FOR KIDS white, snapshot-style drawings just before the start of Chapter One. It is a tight-knit family and an equally close neighborhood. The neighbors in the upstairs apartment on Columbus Avenue pop in and out. Tomie's beloved "nanas" (grandmothers) appear frequently, as do his aunts and uncles. The building of the house is a thread throughout the book. Tomie recalls the ups and downs vividly, from the builder his parents fired because he didn't listen to them to the burning of backyard brush that almost went out of control. Everyone from friends to family pitches in to help the family realize its dream. Meanwhile, the precocious Tomie has a disappointing encounter with "Mr." Walt Disney's version of Snow White and a hilarious first day of kindergarten (I won't spoil the surprise). He is is ill ii ! ANGLES TV i rules of photography still apply. Pictures must be well-composed and properly exposed. Before getting into digital imaging, it is a good idea to sharpen basic photographic skills by taking lots of pictures. Reading photography books and taking photo courses are good ideas, too. Digital enhancement. Computer-imaging programs like Adobe Photoshop and Kais Power Tools offer photographers endless creative and enhancing possibili iilliiflilili "It seemed to me Stanford has just about everything you can expect from a big university: great academic standing, a major medical center and Division I sports," said Wolfe. "It has a student body with a high level of intelligence by all objective standards, SATs. And it's big enough to have about every aspect of people on campus." Wolfe hasn't made up his mind about the novel's direction yet, or at least he isn't saying. "I've been doing a lot of reading, but I've just started reporting," said Wolfe, who began his career at a newspaper. Still, he said he's going in with more focus than usual. "With The Bonfire of the Vanities, I just knew I wanted to do something about New York," said Wolfe, who appeared modest, attentive and much too nice to write the sarcastic things he does. "With A Man in Full, I just knew I wanted to do something involving plantations." Most fiction that deals with universities focuses on professors, he said. His won't. Student life interests him more. Wolfe touched on the subject in his latest novel, which has a subplot involving date-rape to the world came up with the idea of traveling to the North to give concerts to raise money. At first, the singers presented concerts of popular tunes, but were greeted lukewarmly by the audiences. Then, in desperation and on the brink of returning home without the needed money, Ella leads the chorus in songs that welled up from deep inside her soul. "No more auction block for me..." they sang, and the crowd went wild, likening them to a band of angels. From that point on, the Jubilee Singers were successful, and instrumental in keeping alive the tradition of African-American music that came to be known as spirituals. Songs such as Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, and Go Down, Moses, became their hallmark. The i choir sang all over the world and continues to perform to this day. i Today, Sheppard's real great-granddaughter is a librarian at Fisk University. Hopkinson, a development director who raises funds for Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., often writes about African-American history for children, including the award winningSweef Clara and the Freedom Quilt (Random House, paperback, 1995) and Birdie's Lighthouse (Atheneum, 1997). young dePaola endlessly curious about the new house and the suspense builds gently as the family gets closer to moving. In an author's note, dePaola says that he found the idea of writing this chapter book "daunting." You would never know it from the enthusiasm and ease with which these stories flow. The writing is simple and con versational, as if he were sitting in the room talking to the reader. The charming spot illustrations capture key moments and are both warm and funny. We leave Tomie excitedly surveying the bedroom he and his older brother, Buddy, will share. "I ran in. I ran up the stairs; I ran into my bedroom. There were two brand-new beds, two brand-new dressers, and on the wall a mirror that looked like a ship's wheel. The beds were turned down, and there on the bed nearer the door were my pajamas. It was my bed. It was my room. It was my new house. It was my wonderful home - 26 Fairmount Avenue." ties, most accomplished with a few clicks of a mouse. Getting to the clicking, however, requires many hours of experimenting with the tools and controls of the programs. Image scanning. Desktop scanners make getting pictures into a computer fast and easy. Although many film scanners offer an automatic mode, precise film-type settings often yield the best image. Home printing. Desktop printers make it easy to print pictures at home. Different inks and different ink settings can produce varied results as can different paper types. For best results some of which may not be predictable experiment with different papers, inks and settings. Color management. Many first-time digital image-makers by a Georgia Tech athlete and the efforts of school boosters to protect him from the press and the law. Wolfe has a thesis: Universities have taken the place of churches in the creation of mores, setting society's moral agenda on issues such as women's rights and gay rights. "That's my hypothesis going in," he said. "I don't know what I'll find. I have to explore my own hypothesis. You have to do that before you're on to the real story." For his next book, Wolfe said he's still looking for the situation that will startle and fascinate him, make him want to get inside the world he's writing about. Meanwhile, Stanford students are feeling more than a bit paranoid, if reports in the Stanford Daily are to be believed. "It's usually beneficial to have people with big names and big clout visit the university, but Tom Wolfe is a special case," read a March editorial in the student newspaper. "Considering Wolfe's shredding of societies from New York to Atlanta, we are left to wonder what he will uncover while here." TOP-SELLING BOOKS Fiction 1. Bittersweet, Danielle Steel. 2. The Testament, John Grisham. 3. Vittorio the Vampire, Anne Rice. 4. Tara Road, Maeve Binchy. 5. River's End, Nora Roberts. 6. Ashes to Ashes, Tami Hoag. 7. Single and Single, John Le Carre. 8. Abide With Me, E. Lynn Harris. 9. Hush Money, Robert B. Parker. 10. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver. Non-fiction 1. All Too Human, George Stephanopoulos. 2. Yesterday I Cried,yana Van-zant. 3. The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw. 4. The Courage to Be Rich, Suze Orman. 5. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom. 6. Something More, Sarah Ban Breathnach. 7. Business (AT) the Speed of Thought, Bill Gates. 8. Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach. 9.0neDay My Soul Just Opened Up, Iyanla Vanzant. 10. The Century, Todd Brewster and Peter Jennings. Source: Publisher's Weekly Temple Concord hosts book signing Sharing Sacred Moments, a book by Rabbi Lance J. Sussman will be unveiled at a book signing at 7:30 p.m. today in the Kilmer Mansion, Temple Concord, 9 Riverside Drive, Binghamton. The $14.95 book, published by Keshet Press, includes sermons and essays on contemporary spirituality. Appropriate to a general readership, the essays focus on "finding the SUSSMAN sacred in everyday life and reorganizing one's life, once one has a sense of the sacred," Sussman said. The book signing will be followed by a wine and cheese reception. The public is invited, free of charge. Sharing Sacred Moments will be available at Temple Concord or Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Town Square Mall, Vestal. creative edge find that the picture on their monitor does not match their print. This may be caused by a miscali-brated monitor. If you skip the calibration step, outlined in computer and imaging program manuals, you will not get the most out of your equipment. Computer technology. Digital darkroom photographers and artists must be skilled in computer technology. Knowing how to store images on Zip and Jaz drives, as well as writable CDs, is important because images saved on these devices will last a lifetime. Knowing how to reboot a "frozen" computer, maximize computer speed and transfer image files from one program to another also helps digital darkroom photographers work effectively and efficiently. n - J V Daughter hurt by mom's negative comments on dad DEAR ANN LANDERS: Twenty-seven years ago, my mother abandoned her family. I was only 17 and newly married. My four younger siblings were raised by my loving and devoted father. Times were really hard, but he kept the family together. My mother recently moved back to our town. She and I want to treat this as a new beginning and get to know each other again. We spend one day a week together, talking and shopping. Here's the problem. Mom constantly says nasty things about my father and tries to make him look bad. Ann, this is the man who raised us when she took off. He did the cooking and the laundry and tucked the kids in at night. When my brothers and sisters were sick, he stayed home from work to take care of them. We never heard him say one unkind word about our mother. I know Mom left because she couldn't handle the responsibility of a family. I no longer blame her, but I remember how hard things were for Dad when she left. She isn't fooling me with her newly minted version of events. How can I get her to stop making negative comments about Dad without damaging our new relationship? I value the time I spend with her and don't want to push her a way. But frankly, Ann, I can't take much more of this. Split Loyalties in Illinois DEAR ILLINOIS: Tell your mother in a forthright manner that you do not want to hear any more negative talk about your father because it upsets you. Let her know how much you admire the way he raised your four siblings. You owe him that. When you permit your mother, who abandoned her children, to speak ill of her ex-husband while you remain silent, you commit a serious sin of omission. Reconsider decision DEAR ANN LANDERS: Our son has been offered a basketball scholarship. The team is called "The Fighting Irish." He doesn't want to accept it because he resents the phoniness of the team name. He said, "We are not Irish, and I'll bet half of the guys on the team are not Irish, either." We think he is being foolish and pointed out that the majority of the players on the football team at Notre Dame (also known as "The Fighting Irish") are not Irish, either. We are guessing about this, Ann, but it would help if you could check this out and let us know if it is true. NAMES IN Fans say goodbye to BoxCar Willie BRANSON, Mo. BoxCar Willie's last appearance drew a full house. About 1,000 people filled the entertainer's theater Saturday to say goodbye to America's singing hobo. BoxCar Willie, whose given name was Lecil Travis Martin, died Monday of leukemia at age 67. Among the mourners were Branson stars such as Mel Tillis, Andy Williams, Jim Stafford and Yakov Smirnoff. And nearly each one had a warm memory to share about the friend they called "Box. " Tillis recalled serving in the Air Force with him in Nebraska 45 years ago: "I was a baker and he was a flight engineer. He used to come by the place where I did my baking, and we'd sit on the flour sacks and pick our guitars." The Rev. Cliff Braschler's eulogy was interspersed with video clips from shows, and many mourners wept and then smiled as they heard songs like The Wabash Cannon-ball and I've Seen It All From a Boxcar Door. Braschler let BoxCar Willie have the last word, and the crowd heard him sing: "I'll ride that last train to heaven, on rails of solid gold, "In a boxcar filled with satin, where the nights are never cold. "Where the hobo's always welcome, even in his raggedy clothes. "I'll ride that last train to heaven, when the final whistle blows. " Afterward, hundreds filed past an open coffin to view the performer in his full hobo regalia, an American flag at his side. An Air Force color guard honored Box-Car Willie at a brief graveside service. Kitt's stunt stuns Minn. Gov. Ventura ST. PAUL, Minn. Singer Eartha Kitt turned in a different kind of performance when she visited Gov. Jesse Ventura, doing a handstand on his desk while he touted the benefits of physical fitness. "This is amazing," Ventura said after Kitt's stunt Friday. "At the age of 72," interjected the performer, who was in the Twin Cities over the weekend for shows at a nightclub and visited with Ventura, a former pro wrestler, for about 15 minutes. "I'm here to support his origi- 4(. ;1ttr.wngi ajri a.wjjj ANN LANDERS Advice A Frustrated Dad in New Jersey DEAR DAD: Names can be misleading, but it's a pretty good bet that Notre Dame players Matt Brennan, Brendan Farrell, Mike Grady, Sean Mahan, Brendan O'Connor and Dan O'Leary are indeed sons of the ol' sod. You can also bet that Zak Kustok, Tom Lopienski, Phil Sicuso, Noah Van-Hook-Drucker and Jascint Vuke-lich are not Irish. I hope my "research" will encourage your son to accept. Counseling may help DEAR ANN LANDERS: My husband retired from the military seven years ago. Since then, he has not had a haircut and has stopped taking regular showers. He has grown a beard that scratches my face and makes him look like the Unabomber. Our sex life is nonexistent. The sad part of all this is that "Duke" is only 55 and would be very attractive if I could just get him to clean up a little. I am a few years older than he is, but I am not dead yet. Lying next to him in bed at night is torture. I know Duke is aware of my feelings, but he continues to ignore me. The only bodily contact we have is when he gives me a quick peck on the cheek that is supposed to pass for a kiss. Can you help? Too Young for Celibacy in S.C. DEAR S.C: You say Duke is aware of your feelings, but does he realize how painful the situation is for you? If not, give him a detailed account. You need to see a counselor about this. If you could get Duke to go with you, it would be helpful. Has he had a physical lately? It may be that he has some neurological problem. His poor hygiene suggests this may be a possibility. Good luck, dear. You're going to need it. Landers is a syndicated columnist. Write her co the Press & Sun-Bulletin, P.O. Box 1270, Binghamton, N.Y. 13902-1270. THE NEWS nal ideas about supporting common sense," she said. "He's fun because of both his sense of humor and practical common sense." Small Texas town snags piece of Harlem COMMERCE, Texas The Boys Choir of Harlem is branching out from New York to form satellite choirs in some of the biggest cities in the nation Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Detroit. And Commerce, Texas, population 7,192. "I say, why not Commerce?" said Anthony Harris, director of Project Keep Hope Alive, whose choir is working with the Boys Choir of Harlem. "The needs of the kids are no different in Detroit or San Francisco or Miami." Project Keep Hope Alive, which provides after-school activities for black boys, is based at the Texas ' A&M University-Commerce cam- Eus about 60 miles northeast of alias. Of its 67 members, about 50 sing in the Voices of Hope choir. Boys Choir of Harlem leaders will travel to Commerce this summer to help the Voices of Hope singers fine-tune their skills in gospel, jazz, rap and classical music. Artist from Florida will be MTV's next VJ NEW YORK An aspiring artist from Florida beat out 6,000 other aspiring video jockeys for an instant taste of fame. Thalia D. DaCosta, 21, of Sunrise, Fla., won MTV's nationwide search for a VJ on Saturday. Try-outs had been held in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York between April 6 and Wednesday. Five finalists were tested on their music knowledge, poise and stamina live on MTv on Saturday. Viewers voted for the winner over the phone and in cyberspace. "I just won a contest for being myself," DaCosta said. "I was really a struggling, starving artist yesterday. And today, I have .... a really well-paying job." The competition, the second annual VJ "Wanna-Be" tryout, was open to people 18 to 28 years old. Last year, Jesse Camp, of Granby, Conn., stole the show and spent a year as a host on the cable music network. DaCosta's first VJ shift will come next week. From wire service reports

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