This space has been long neglected, in favor of writing for my day-and-nights job that actually pays, a little. So perhaps we’ll make this space a bit of a reporter’s notebook, for those whimsical bits we can’t fit in our 28 to 32 pages a week.
Our emails at that alternative-to-Gannett-parsimony-weekly are inherited and very generic. “My email is reporter at ithacatimes.com” is often how I give people an idea of the size of the shop. Which is still, I believe, the largest full-time editorial staff in Tompkins County, with three reporters and two editors covering an area of 100,000 people.
So our long-used accounts get a lot of press releases, like lots of reporters do, and some of them are the boring kind – some recent grad in some PR shop out of NYC or San Francisco, asking us four times in a week whether we want to run some study showing Ithaca to be a place from which families are fleeing or something. Because it’s a study performed by some real estate site trying to get its name out there before the venture capital runs out.
And some of these releases are far more amusing, surprising, whimsical, what have you. Usually, the more mom-and-pop local operations supply those. I been meaning to share more of these, so let’s start now with this one from the Seneca Community Players.
It starts out telling us it’s the 45th anniversary of the Gene Wilder version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Important why? Because the …
“Seneca Community Players have issued a virtual Golden Ticket to residents of Seneca County and surrounding areas to come and meet Peter Ostrum, who portrayed Charlie Bucket in the film at a Willy Wonka themed, press release party at the Gould Hotel in Seneca Falls on Thursday, April 21, 2016.”
“Doors will open at 6pm, and attendees will be invited to enjoy a chocolate buffet donated by local businesses. Peter Ostrum will give a presentation followed by a brief question and answer session, after which he will be available for autographs and photos with a suggested donation of $5 for Seneca Community Players. There is no charge to attend the event.”
A very affordable fundraiser; the tie-in is a kick-off for a larger fundraiser – an “auction theater,” where each role in a three-night stand of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka will be auctioned off to the highest bidding would-be player.
Ostrum (pictured above, in the release photo) only acted in Charlie, and no other film, according to his Wiki. At the wise age of 13, he turned down a three-film offer and instead ended up going to Cornell’s veterinary school. He now practices large animal medicine in the North Country of New York.