by Ann Thurlow
In Her Own Write
One Great Thing
The great film director Preston Sturgis once said (and I am paraphrasing wildly here) “It is as noble a calling to tell people how great the world is as it is to tell them how badly it stinks.” I have thought about that quote a lot in my many years as a journalist. Certainly, I spent a lot of time telling people about the stinky things other people did. But my real joy has always come from stories about people who do good things, about people who follow their passions and share them. And here, in The Buzz, that happens every month. No wonder, after all these years, this is where I find myself.
Thousands of people and their heartfelt activities have been featured in The Buzz since it first hit the stands in 1993. I’ll bet, in a given year, you could add up all the salaries of the people featured in (and contributing to) these pages and not come up with enough cash to buy a mid-sized condo. (Not that that’s a good thing, by the way). But my point is: this province is full of generous, hardworking creative people, people who hope to make a buck out of what they’re doing—but would probably do it even if they didn’t. And it took The Buzz to point that out. I mean, I think we all knew it before 1993. But seeing it in print, month in, month out is humbling .
And inspiring, too. Both to the people who read about the artists and to those who become inspired to create themselves. It is my firmly held belief that PEI is the extraordinary hub of creativity it is at least in part because of The Buzz. Good generates more good: art generates more art—as long as we know it’s happening.
The point of The Buzz may be to inform, but inspiration is its happy by-product.
The other reason I love The Buzz is a completely selfish one. Because I write for The Buzz, I can just call up people I think are interesting and talk to them. Total strangers! I’ll just ask if I can write about them and, before you know it, I’m having tea in their kitchen. In that spirit of generosity and passion I’ve already talked about, no ever turns me down when I ask them to talk about their work.
If I was a politician (and I never, ever will be)…but if I was, I would pick up a copy of the The Buzz and add up all the people who are featured in those pages. Then I would multiply it times hundreds for all the people who will attend something because the saw it in The Buzz. Then I would say to myself (if I was a wise politician), “hey, a lot of people are working at this art stuff and a lot of other people seem to care.”
And we do care—about the arts and about our community. And maybe we don’t need politicians to acknowledge it (though a little more support would not go amiss). But what we do need is The Buzz to celebrate it. And when, like thousands of others, I pick up my copy every month, I am always very thankful for that. And happy to be reminded that, mostly, the world is full of greatness.
Ann Thurlow is…
Ann Thurlow began her journalism career in grade eight with the breathless scoop that the geography teacher could whistle. She rested on those laurels for many years. Then, in, Peterborough, Ontario she resumed her true calling as a reporter and dogsbody at a feisty community weekly. She parlayed that experience into a stint at a newspaper in Smithers, BC and then, eventually, into a spot at the CBC in Charlottetown. She was also a contributor to he late, lamented CBC radio show, Basic Black. It was there that her career reach its pinnacle, when she demonstrated the art of clog dancing on the radio. (Followed closely, it must be said, by her demonstration of how to wear a corset on the CBC television show Midday). She has also been, at various times, a writer of press releases, an editor of books and (in case border services is reading this) a short order cook, the skill that got her into Canada in the first place. She has one daughter, one boyfriend and one cat.
We have heard from numerous readers that Ann’s monthly “One Great Thing” is the first thing they go searching for in each issue (we move it around). We also love it; sometimes it causes tears, the feel good kind.