A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still on the List

The mail has been full of interesting things lately--cards, letters from old friends, checks, notices informing me that some of my money is being refunded, and so on. I was especially excited to receive this Christmas card today from "le Conseil d'Administration, le Comité de Direction et toute l'équipe du Centre Vinicole - Champagne Nicholas Feuillatte."

What originally intrigued me about the champagne house of Nicholas Feuillatte was its affiliation with artists. Being very young for such a company (NFCVC celebrated its 30th birthday on October 12th of this year), and also a cooperative (very untraditional for this business), NF early on decided to align itself with youth and modernity in building the company image. Accordingly, each year a contemporary artist is selected by NF to interpret a theme chosen for that year. Effervescence, terroir, and skin contact are examples of past themes. The artist produces one work which is installed in an art gallery in the Chouilly cellars. He or she also designs marketing materials for the year, including a Christmas card.

When I visited the cellars last November, I got to see the art gallery--very cool. And I was given the lovely bottle of pricey vintage champagne. I wondered if perhaps I'd get a Christmas card, but I didn't. Oh, well. Getting a little greedy, I thought.

But I began receiving lots of other mail from their PR agency--press releases and little gifts. A CD of world music, a neat little picnic carrier with room for a bottle of Beaujolais. And of course, an invite to an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy and France. Unfortunately, I was not able to pay them back in the manner they hoped, in the form of a glowing published account of the trip. None of the editors I was working with had any interest in articles about champagne, olive oil or Beaujolais.

Which means, I guess, that I should get myself some different editors. And, in fact, I do have a new editor for my weekly column. Her former post was managing editor of the lifestyle ( i.e. food, wine, travel, and so on) section of Springfield's The Republican. We've got a plan to meet after the Christmas rush. Perhaps she'll be willing to help me get my foot in the door with some food, wine, or travel articles.

I still have a chance to redeem myself with Nicholas Feuillatte and with their PR agency in New York. I got a Christmas card....that means I'm still on the list.

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