Once upon a time, when I was just a lad, I had a small rubber stamp that said H.W. FIELDING — pretty much in that typeface, which we now know as a font, and usually in this color, because I had a nifty reddish stamp pad that had become corrupted by smears of black ink.
By the time I was in high school, this had pretty much become my trademark, to the bemusement of some of my teachers, most notably Jack Cundari, the Latin teacher. (Why, I don’t know; he often went by J.D. Cundari.) He would hand back my papers with a smirk and say, in an exaggerated tone: “H.W. FIELDING — Inc.” Although it was not visible, the Inc. — or more likely, the ink — was red, at least in my mind.
In the 1970s, a personalized rubber stamp was pretty cool technology, so I put it on everything — my notebooks, my homework assignments, my prized possessions (although on anything nonporous, the ink would tend to rub off).
Thus this site. The idea of hwfielding.com is to share a number of writing projects, including new essays and humor, looks back linking to classic “Living Here” columns, and new excerpts from works in progress. Some of these I will offer for publication and reposting elsewhere. I’ll also use this site to develop and promote some larger projects. More on those later.
Little did I know, in those days, about red ink, which would in fact dog my future writing career until I found a regular employer in newspapers and pubic relations. I never did incorporate, as amusing as that seemed at the time. An “and Company” seemed pretentious (not to mention misleading, as I was unaccompanied). And so the H.W. Fielding dangled as a branding idea until we reached the modern era of LLCs (no thanks) and dotcoms (hey, there’s an idea).
As a journalist with four decades of experience in nonpartisan writing, I also hope to use Living Here Together to point out some of the communications failures that have made us the nasty people we are today when it comes to politics. For this I’ve enlisted my friend the Rhetoric Referee, who will have his own category on this blog.
Meanwhile, welcome, gentle reader. I hope you enjoy your visit.
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