Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Entrepreneurial Name: An Origin Story

Underwood Typewriter--My Lap Top
Those hot summers of youth led to some earnest plan making.  When the dust settled, and all the books were read, and the pool no longer a novelty, my brother and I would start scheming.  How could we earn some real cash?  We'd done the Junk Sale thing which didn't go over very well.  I suppose the junk drawer contents really were junk. "Jonny-down-the-street" suggested we sell hot dogs.  This sounded completely lame to us.  Plus, I am pretty sure we'd have confronted some health code violations.  No, we needed something enterprising--something grand.  Perhaps all those afternoons spent tightly rolling newspapers and lobbing them onto slanted porches seeded the idea into our heads.  Fingers still muddied with ink, we birthed Pinwheel Papers, an original publication produced by us. 

A side note:  Pinwheel's name was inspired by the Nickelodian TV show from the 80's.  In addition the network featured a promo for itself with claymation worm-like shapes that inched along until it formed a spinning pinwheel.  We likened them to pin worms, a persistent threat and affliction that my brother and I shared.

As I mentioned the paper was to be written and published by us, but we did lean on cousins and friends to  write some fluff pieces, however we saved the meat and bones for ourselves.  My brother tackled the hardline current events stories such as when the pigs flew, and I could be found on page two with the recipe corner.  Yes, sexism in the news room was a real concern in those days.  A typical soup recipe would read something like this:  Open a can of soup, Pour into a pan, Add water, Heat the pan, and Stir.  Yes, we were cheeky yet fairly proud of our work.  We were cranking it out when an opportunity to increase our readership came.  

A dinner party brought two elderly women to our table.  In an effort to make her fat, smug children seem more charming, our Mother had my brother and I pitch Pinwheel Papers to our audience.  Yes, we were creative--downright crafty.  We presented our first couple of editions--handwritten in pencil with hand drawn illustrations, and we would make handwritten copies for our readers.  Our elderly guests were very pleased.  Whether they were genuinely impressed or somehow felt obligated is still unknown, but we did cup our sweaty little hands around a dollar each which they paid us for advance issues.  

The next day, all fired up, we marched to the drug store to reinvest in Pinwheel Papers by buying a stapler which we would use to bind the pages together.   But alas, those advance issues would never be written let alone sent to our patrons.  Our business folded without another word written.  Our planned production of Top Hat which was heavily covered in the entertainment section would never be performed.  Only the poster advertising its summer arrival would remain on my bedroom door like a sticker partially unpeeled.  Did our creativity crumble under the pressure of having support or expectations?  Or was there a heat wave that lured us back to the pool?  

At any rate, this blog is a continuation of those Pinwheel Papers, a creative pursuit worth finishing.  Here's to those who believe and encourage us in all that we do, and may the good luck of the pinwheel blow your way.

1 comment:

  1. Where do I send my dollar? Looking forward to reading and seeing more. . .