Category:
Journalism

She devours the paper

The case of Blanche English, addicted to marginalia.


Wilmington News Journal - July 22, 1970



Update: I found a follow-up about Blanche English written in 2006 by Garth Wade, the Star-Gazette reporter who first discovered her unusual talent:

Blanche English became a nurse later in life but she was running a diner in Blossburg when I visited one morning to ask if she ate newspaper. My friend Dick Spencer told me she did, but I wanted proof. With some fear for my health, I blurted, "Pardon me, Mrs. English, but do you eat newspaper?"

Blanche laughed. I laughed. I had to because Blanche had one of those contagious laughs. Then we laughed some more.

This happy, marvelous lady admitted to eating newspaper. The craving started when she was pregnant with Douglas, the first of her five kids, she said. She would strip the edge of the newspaper where there was no ink, roll it up, chew a spell and swallow. The only newspaper she liked was the Star-Gazette.

So, I sat Blanche in one of her booths with a plate full of Star-Gazette and took her photo. The story generated Blanche's 15 minutes of fame. Talk shows called and newspapers sent copies imploring her to try their newsprint. Blanche remained faithful to the Star-Gazette. And her husband, Leonard, loved to tell about his wife's special talent.

Blanche became an LPN later and worked at the Broad Acres Nursing Home in Wellsboro. "She loved those folks and they loved her," said Linda English Cheyney, Blanche's daughter. Linda said her mother's habit continued well after Douglas' birth. "I remember her sitting at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee and the edges of the Star-Gazette were gone."

Blanche was 68 when she died 13 years ago. Leonard joined her last year.

Elmira Star-Gazette - Jun 5, 2006

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 19, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Journalism, 1970s

Top Forty News, Weather and Sports



Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 26, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Humor, Journalism, Music, 1960s

Notice on CHICAGO TRIBUNE links



Friends--I always delighted in searching the open archives of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, and finding many items there to highlight on WU, with links back to the source.

This week the formerly open archives went behind a paywall. I understand the economics of it, but I'm still sad.

And of course, the old links won't work now.

Well, it was fun while it lasted...

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 04, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Journalism, Weird Universe

Newspapers by Radio Fax:  1930s

image

Newspapers transmitted into your living room by radio waves!

Get the whole fascinating history here. More fotos also at the link, but not the one above, which I found independently.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 16, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Journalism, Radio, Technology, 1930s

Weird pupils let octopuses see their colorful gardens

When I first saw this headline I thought it was talking about weird school kids, and I was definitely intrigued. What it was actually about was interesting, but not as interesting as an article about freaky kids luring octopuses into their gardens would have been. But I still like the headline.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 09, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Journalism, Science

Problem on Interstate

Story reported by Iowa CBS affiliate KCCI last Friday. [via AdWeek]

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 18, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Journalism, Transportation

30-hour Interview

Norway's VGTV is conducting (or probably has by now conducted) a 30-hour interview with author/chess-player/historian/politician Hans Olav Lahlum, aiming to set a record for the longest interview ever. The station is hoping that people will really start tuning in as the interviewer and interviewee grow progressively more sleep-deprived. Because the Norwegians, you see, are big fans of "Slow TV." Previous hits have included a documentary on firewood and a 134-hour live broadcast of a boat trip. [Wall Street Journal, VGTV]

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 23, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Journalism, Television, World Records

They Don’t Write Headlines Like That Anymore

image

Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 21, 2012 - Comments (5)
Category: Journalism, Goofs and Screw-ups




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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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