Very Special to the Washington Post

written by dave nuttycombe for the washington post

Following closely on my piece about 99-year-old chanteuse Marianne Arden, the Washington Post published two articles I wrote, one about local musician and entrepreneur Marcus Johnson and the other on the future, and past, of film processing business Colorlab.

Shortly after the Colorlab story ran, Landmark Theaters converted local E Street and Bethesda Row cinemas to all-digital. (Here’s a nice write-up in Washington City Paper by Ian Buckwalter.) As someone once said, the future sneaks up on you.

And as the current future allows any and everyone to comment on any and everything they see, hear, and read on the Internet, I must note some of the more amusing notions that Post readers felt necessary to scribble into the aether.

An insightful person going by the nom de net “remember1007″ wrote:

“Too bad that, once again, the WashPost has assigned a writer who knows nothing about jazz to write a piece about jazz. Would they send someone to write about a Redskins game who has seen one or two NFL games in his/her life? It’s a great music with a long and distinguished history in DC (Duke Ellington, Shirley Horn, et al), but as usual the Post confines it to these types of uninformed pieces by neophyte writers. I could tell from the first line that, while perhaps well-intentioned, the author knows not of what he speaks.”

written by dave nuttycombe for the washington post

At first I thought remember1007 was mocking my obvious lack of knowledge of the jazz idiom. As just the night before the Post piece ran I had performed, for pay, with a jazz combo that featured a couple members of the august Navy Band the Commodores, and that I’ve been playing jazz and jazz-ish music since age 12, well, he may be on to something.

Then I thought perhaps remember1007 objects to my calling Marcus Johnson a jazz player. True, Johnson himself admits cheerfully to the “smooth jazz” label, a sound scorned by many as bogus and utterly unhip. But my definition of jazz is pretty broad and inclusive. The dictionary (and Wikipedia) definition is that jazz is improvisational, and if remember1007 had witnessed Johnson and his band wailing at Blues Alley, he might have held his typing fingers at bay.

Fortunately, “ReneldaMoorehead” came to my “defense,” writing:

written by dave nuttycombe for the washington post

“Dave Nuttycombe is not a jazz aficionado, granted. But he wrote an outstanding article as a profile of Marcus Johnson.”

OK, granted.

On the Colorlab story, a pedantic former employee of the National Archives takes me to task, at length, for ignoring the nuts-and-bolts policies of the Archives and failing to mention Bono Labs, which in fact I mentioned in the first paragraph. And with which I have a personal history, as Joe Bono was the saint who processed and put up with most of Travesty Film’s tragic film output — even letting us pay over time. Often a long period of time. But that wasn’t the story.

Colorlab’s Russ Suniewick lead me through a vigorous six-hour tour of the elaborate facilities and indeed did discuss Mr. Pedant’s cherished “vendor program” that requires producers to pay for making duplicates that future researchers may access. But there was no room to add all that. I even had to cut some great quotes by Russ’ wife Nancy. (Sorry!)

As with all newspaper articles, what is printed is nowhere near the full or final story.

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