Friday, May 25, 2012

Dude...Let's Get The Newspaper Back Together

The Bosco Editor and Doug Vehle back in the 70's. Hint: I'm the one that looks like Bob Redford.

By Allen Bacon
The Daily Bosco

It probably has gone unnoticed. No I'm quite sure it has gone unnoticed. Because nobody else cares...quite frankly.

There has been a major reunion going on over the past few years. No, it's not like when Steely Dan got back together or it's not like the Beatles getting back together. But, in my universe it was just as important.

Doug Vehle has been sending me articles for this blog. Or I think it's Doug Vehle. Maybe it's all an elaborate hoax. Like when the real Paul McCartney died. Up until a few years ago I did not have any contact with Doug for over 30 years. I went looking for Bentley Little and Doug came forward. For the uninformed, Doug, Bentley, and I were the Beatles of High School Journalism. We were on the 1976-77 Fullerton High School Pleiades newspaper staff. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In my senior year of high school, I became the editor of my high school newspaper. Except we were no ordinary high school newspaper. The Fullerton High Pleiades had a tradition of excellence dating back to the turn of the century. Every year I was there we won All American status...the highest achievement for a high school newspaper. One of the reasons for that was that we had the best Journalism adviser on the planet, Nell Guyette.

Ms. Guyette had two rules for working on the Pleiades. Rule number one... no girlfriends or boyfriends. She wanted your undivided attention. And number two... the Pleiades staff was not run by Democracy. It was a Theocracy and she was God. Everything she said was final. End of discussion.

It was probably no coincidence that seeing a sudden turn of direction and the lack of talent coming on to the Pleiades in my senior year, that Ms. Guyette decided to take a sabbatical that year. She said she was going on a sabbatical, but now that I think about it she was still teaching English at FUHS in my senior year and didn't go anywhere. Hmmm.

So the advisership fell to Mrs. Beverly Booth that year. Mrs. Booth was a great Drama and English teacher and the nicest and sweetest lady you could ever meet. But quite frankly, nothing could prepare her for running this high school newspaper. We might as well had no adviser. Especially when two bushy-haired radical kids in the form of Bentley Little and Doug Vehle showed up. It was like the inmates were running the asylum.

You have to remember this was the mid-70's and the Watergate scandal and All The President's Men were fresh in our brains and we all wanted to be Bob Woodard or Carl Bernstein. So the closest thing to the government in our world was the Associated Student Body and we had a field day looking for scandal and corruption. And since we had a puppet adviser, we were not very responsible. That was all good and well until we ran out of money and I had to go the ASB to ask for more funds. Fortunately the ASB President, as was the case with most people, never read the Pleiades and thus never read all the nasty things we wrote about him... so we were safe and they gave us our money.

Bentley and Doug thought I was the squarest thing since the invention of the geometric pattern. So they would always test my boundaries. One day they decided to go off and start their own underground newspaper... Aqualung. They did it primarily as a public service to let the kids know about the undercover narcs on campus and to be free from the restraints of a regular high school paper...which that year had no restraints. But that was beside the point. They were just punks. They told me about it I think to get a rise out of me but I thought it was cool. I said I wanted to write for them and they denied me. Doug's version is that I didn't want to write for them because I was the editor of the school newspaper and it wouldn't look good. I say I offered to write under a pseudonym, but Doug doesn't remember it that way. They just thought I was a bad writer.

Bentley went on to become a prolific horror novelist and Doug also wrote professionally and became a Television/Broadcast Instructor. I was quite frankly surprised and happy when he started sending me articles.

Then I got this wonderful idea. What if all the guys and gals from the old Pleiades started writing in or contributing. It would be great. It would be a great reunion. We would have the best political cartoonist...Gary Munson. We would have the best photographers... Russ Dobbie and Mike Vogl. And great sports editors who actually played the game like Brian McCarthy and Jim Merrill. And of course the best writer and editor, Cheryl Walker. And Bentley Little and Doug Vehle.

Apparently Bentley Little doesn't go on the internet...and writes all of his novels on an IBM Selectric. That could be a problem.

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