The article included two excursions to the Brighton Memorial Library, a fitting venue for a story about a magazine, and a trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park. In the library, I met first with content manager and editor Allison Bondi and then with contributing photographer Sarah Salvilla.
Allison graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Emory University and moved to Brighton about 3 ½ years ago. She joined Brighton Connections in 2018 where part of her job is writing the monthly cover stories on nominated families, individuals and businesses. She is a copywriter for GoDaddy partner brands. Allison did the interviews and write ups for 540 W Main’s Black Women ROC 2021 series and will be working with them on some upcoming projects. She was on the RASE commission for Housing in Rochester and am a member of the City Roots Landtrust. Allison is a stepmom to a 12 and 15 year old and a cat mom of 3. Allison she loves gardening and seed collecting.
At the library, coincidentally Allison and I were both wearing BRIGHTON shirts. As mentioned in the article, after the interview a patron took a photo of us at the millstone.
Allison brilliantly captures the Talker oeuvre, far better than I could. She weaves a smoothly flowing, well detailed narrative with aptly chosen quotes. I appreciate that Allison took time to closely read the articles I referenced. In the week Allison was constructing the piece, I noticed the articles appeared in my analytics. I wondered if it was her reading them. And indeed it was. I was thrilled that Allison included the picture of me in a emu costume.Allison has a keen journalistic eye. As she mentioned, on our way out we talked about the library globe. By then her tape recorder was off, but she was still clearly paying attention as she effectively included our offhand banter.
Allison also showed she was game for some offbeat photo-ops. Outside the library, at the Carol Heininger Wahl Memorial Children’s Literary Garden, she stood next to a placard with lines from e.e. cummings. She offered an innocent, childlike pose that works.
Allison had me look like a as peacenik approaching the Brighton Post cannon with a flower. I posed as a nervous peacenik hoping the cannon was not loaded.
Sarah Savilla is a Professional Portrait Photographer at Artistic boutique studio on East Main Street. When I arrived at the Library, she had already scouted out visually interesting angles. As she took the photos, she explained it’s all about the eyes. Our eyes, she said, reflect our intrinsic selves. Then we went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park. Sarah had never been, and was very moved by the experience. She plans to visit again with her son.