She’s a First!!!….and I’m Grateful

(“Call for Commenters”–Here’s the hometown newspaper my column appears in, every Thursday–the East Greenwich Pendulum. Two more times a week, other stories appear on my Biddy Bytes website where it goes out to the worldwide web via The one thing I truly want: reader feedback and commentary. One reader finally did it; I sincerely hope more follow Judy Bailey’s lead….)

In the year+ I’ve been writing Biddy Bytes, I’ve never had a person who’s read the column in the newspaper and physically gone to his or her computer, logged in, and written a reply in the Comment section. Why? I guess it’s too sustained a sequence, requiring more than the usual investment of time and/or energy.

But recently, it happened…for the first time, ever.

Oh, I’ve had other readers who comment, folks who found me on the worldwide web or others who regularly read because they follow my work but absolutely never a brand, spanking-new, newspaper-reader-turned-commenter on the blog.

Despite all my requests and invitations, it just never happened. Until now….

I recognize some of the hurdles. A reader has to drop anonymity–at least to me (and I’d never blow one’s cover if she wished to remain anonymous.) In fact, folks who comment can even use a pen-name, if they choose. Just cuz I hang out by my innards each week doesn’t mean anyone else has to. The only thing a Commenter needs to do is put in accurate e-mail address which is never published. Promise!!!

What rare breed comments? 1 reader in a 1000. That’s right…’They’ve’ done studies on this (haven’t they in everything?) and found that for every thousand people who read a post, only one actually responds. And those figures reflect people reading a website on-line.

That fact makes my EG Pendulum reader even more remarkable, for she had to read my post in the newspaper, then transfer the web address of to her browser. That’s unheard of.

First off, inflammatory writing is the type that prompts response…you know, the kind that rattles cages and unhinges psyches. Since my blog’s in the “encouragement genre,” it generally doesn’t do that. But some of my posts invite the contrarians among you–and I’m telling you now: I want you readers to write, e-mail, or weigh in on the blog, sharing your own memories and thoughts. It makes for dynamic conversation where I’m not just hearing my own voice (exchange is healthier and it helps to keep me sharp.)

What prompted this reader to write? After reading my story about the jaunts to Providence my Mom and I took, she knew we had a lot in common. She suddenly realized we had another connection, too: We grew up in the same town (West Warwick.) Her mother and she took that same bus my mother and I did to Providence (she’s a little older than I.) But instead of going to the Spaghetti House, for lunch, her mother took her to the Shepard’s Tea Room (I always wanted to go there.) We were quite simply two little girls enjoying luncheons with our mothers, and we both immortalized those memories.

Purpose of that story of mine? It was to share that kids don’t need the fancy tech toys, the IPads, the Droids, the items I don’t even know about (but they do), for it’s the quiet moments of parent-child time together that they’ll truly remember.

How do I know for certain? It was my experience as well as Judy Bailey’s (the similarity got her to write.) She and I share a marvelous memory from youth–being alone with our mothers on jaunts to the city. Those occasions were precious because we suffered no distractions (except those screeching birds…Remember?)

***But, in case you don’t remember or you missed it, here’s the story that bonded us, the one Judy Bailey commented on: If you’re reading this in the Pendulum, move over to your computer, put in browser, and when my website comes up, go to Previous Posts on the right. When you find “Mom and I ‘Do a Little Italian,’ ” hit it and bring it up and then scroll waaayyy down to section below called “Comments.” Here’s where you’ll find Judy Bailey.

Now, will you be the second reader to “go blog” on me (try it–there’s lots of color on the blog and humor)?…I hope so. But you’ll still find me, too, every Thursday, at the East Greenwich Pendulum where I’m every bit at home. If you’ve got comments for me, Comment or e-mail me on the blog, or snail-mail them to me, c/o the newspaper. I can’t wait to hear from you.

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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