Talker gets some lilac love from the Democrat and Chronicle

Talker gets some lilac love from the Democrat and Chronicle

The new Lilac Queen (2005-2006) Martika Velazquez,15, gets crowned in Rochester on Thursday April 28, 2005. D & C, Carlos Ortiz

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Sarah Taddeo

After having read A modest proposal for the Festival’s troubles. Bring back the Lilac Queen. And add a King about our idea to curb teen mayhem at the Lilac Festival, the Democrat and Chronicle‘s Sarah Taddeo interviewed me yesterday.

As seen below and online (What happened to the Lilac Queen?), Sarah did a nice job.


Bag that contained the May 13th, 2016 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Excited, I was going to get my name in the paper! But this morning when I retrieved that wet blue bag lying outside the front door, heartbreak. The article only appeared online.

Back in the day it was pretty commonplace to get your name in the paper. But as the world has gone digital (hence publications like Talker) and print has shrunk (Freetime recently discontinued its print edition), getting your name in the real paper has become rarer.

Paradoxically, these days, even as print readership declines, making print has became the gold standard of success.  But thanks Sarah, and maybe next time, actually in that soggy blue bag.

Whatever happened to the Lilac Queen?

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YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST PRINT Providence Business News, May 25th, 1987 from Says who you can’t get rich being a writer

One of Rochester’a largest festivals used to crown a local teen or woman as the Lilac Queen until the annual tradition’s final year in 2012.

In 1930, local woman Christina Blackwell was crowned the very first Lilac Queen. Since then, the queen would appear at the Lilac Parade and other festival events.

In recent years, girls ages 15 to 18 in Rochester area high schools could apply to become the Lilac Queen, but festival officials decided the concept “had run its course” after new festival management came on board in 2013, said Larry Staub of Monroe County Parks.


LAST TIME I GOT SOME D & C PRINT from Harriet Beecher Stowe fits the bill September 2nd, 2015

However, local writer David Kramer with Talker of the Town, an online magazine, thinks the Lilac Queen, with the addition of a Lilac King, could help prevent future disturbances at the festival among minors, such as several fights that broke out over the weekend.

“Let’s make something positive,” he said. He proposed to allow high school students to elect their own King and Queen, or maybe several royal couples, and to have the elected students act as good role models interacting with attendees throughout the festival.

“Some people said it’s passe or chauvinistic, but if they were the cool kids voted in by the high school kids, would they have had an impact?” he said.


Living Lilac. On the Road.

A modest proposal for the Festival’s troubles. Bring back the Lilac Queen. And add a King

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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