2006.06.07 Checking in on my marriage

Written by David Green.


The New York Times, considered one of the top newspapers in the world, recently published a front page story about the married life of Bill and Hillary Clinton. How much time they spend together and apart. Bill’s dinner companions. Where he kissed his wife during a recent function in Manhattan. Whether or not they spent Valentine’s Day 2005 together.

You know, all the important news you’d expect to find on the front page of the newspaper of record.

More than 50 people were interviewed and allowed to speak anonymously since they figured the Clintons wouldn’t want them discussing their privates lives with a reporter from one of the most important newspapers in the world.

As publisher of one of the less important newspapers in the world, I obviously don’t understand what makes good copy. There was also a recent story about the alleged trouble in the George and Laura Bush marriage, but that appeared on the cover of a so-called “supermarket tabloid.”

Local shoppers know that the Observer is also a tabloid size newspaper sold in a couple of area supermarkets, so I guess I should come clean and offer something about the Green-Leddy marriage. I can’t interview my wife because she’s not home.

We’re suspect right from the start with different last names. I remember Colleen questioning the prospect of the sound of Colleen Green so she decided to stick with Leddy.

That’s not where it ends. Our wedding story never appeared in print. I remember a local business owner questioning me on that matter. I think the entire affair sounded a little too non-traditional for him and he really didn’t think we were married. He probably still doesn’t and I’ll bet he’s secretly fascinated by the Clinton marriage, too.

If the Times were checking out my marriage, the reporter would finally come up with someone who recalls seeing an engagement story in the Observer. That’s right. I remember that clearly because I incorrectly wrote that Colleen was from Bronx, N.Y., instead of the Bronx, N.Y. The little town hick didn’t get that one right, but I quickly learned.

The Times tells us the Clintons are spending about 14 days a month together on the average. Last August was exceptionally good: 24 of 31 days together. That tidbit must be fascinating for all readers—those who think the marriage is a travesty and those who are surprised to learn the couple is actually together that much; those readers who claim to mind their own business and those who know they are busybodies with empty lives and nothing better to do than read statistics about someone else’s marriage.

Perhaps this is only the first of a series of articles in the New York Times and we can soon learn facts of other famous people as the paper moves forward in its effort to  blend with People magazine. 

I keep straying off course because I can’t seem to say enough good things about the NYT’s article. As the editor of a small weekly, I don’t have the resources to dig up all of my statistics, but—this is going to be shocking—I know there were several nights in the past year in which I was the only person in our bed. Yes, Colleen was gone and I was alone. 

Library conferences, trips to Kentucky to pick up a daughter at college. For all I know, she could have been with Bill Clinton. Our worst statistics come from last August when she and the girls took a vacation without me. We probably matched the Clintons at their best that month.

She and I both lead extremely busy lives. I’ll come home from the Observer and she’ll be working late at the library. She’s home early and I leave to take photos of a basketball game. The most Clintonesque times of all are starting soon as the library’s summer reading program gets underway. We will soon be communicating mostly by e-mail and Post-It notes.

A few years ago, Patrick Healy, the author of the NYT’s Clinton article, stated that he chose journalism “for the reward of telling stories about...high-stakes matters of consequence, stories that will have an impact on real people.”

When times are bad, someone recently suggested, it’s less painful to focus on the trivial.

– June 7, 2006
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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
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    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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