One Year of Firsts: Read the Paper Front to Back

Saturday, January 2

After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. ~Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958

I figured after the Polar Bear Plunge that I should do a "first" that's a little easier today. So, I decided to read every single article in the Saturday Philadelphia Inquirer. I LOOK at the paper every day, but I'm a Scanner and a Skimmer. Still, I thought it would only take a couple of hours to read every single article, score, comic and ad. It took a lot longer!

I did learn some fascinating things buried well below the headlines...Peter Townshend of the band The Who was arrested for child pornography years ago and was on a sex offenders list?? (found that in the sports page) Hockey players are proud of starting a fight (sports page again). One of the winning catergories in the Mummers parade is "Handsome Trim". (What is that??)

When I started nodding off on page A4 between the "Clinton Donors" story and the " N.C. limits indoor smoking" article I had to take a break and got up to clean the house, (it looks like a bomb went off in it with all the holiday stuff still laying around).

Refreshed from doing laundry and cleaning the bathrooms I tackled the obituaries. I usually don't read them. Wow. Interesting stories about people who've lived such big, giving and fascinating lives. Makes you think. What would be in your obituary? Morose, I know, but really. What would it say? I want mine to say something like ..."she thought anything new, even reading the newspaper from front to back, was an adventure."

Lu Ann Cahn is an Emmy award-winning journalist who's been in the biz for more than 30 years. She's survived motherhood, breast cancer and chasing down bad guys. Now, Lu Ann's trying to complete a year of "firsts." Can she do it? She'll be posting daily here on

Contact Us