Start-up of the Good News society magazine in 1983

Picture a bosomy, UM student riding in an friend Alfred Shorts' roadster which had no windshield and our freshman year start-up was hurricane season's finale. Both grads of Edison High, we earned President scholarships. He was destined to lead a band.

My hobby is writing about people. Between classes, making friends was a bonus. Lory Snipes was editor of

U-M Ibis for 1947's prize-winning yearbook by The Collegiate Press -- which I followed up and edited the U-M yearbook and won a national prize with four other schools. I wrote a book on how to put out a yearbook for with instructions in plain lingo and very impressive illustrations.

My journalism mentor was first seat, city-side daily front-page columnist Grace Wing. On one of my frequent visits I showed her three pieces I had written. Grace, with papers in hand, asked me to permit me to let boss-man Hoke Welch. read them. He took them back to her and said, "Using your stories as my columns, you can get 3 days of honeymoon, starting out in Gawja."

Permit me an aside here: A group met at WKAT nights and we formed the Radio Gems and rehearsed for our future dates.

Howard, who was from Mountain View, always wore a hat and looked restrained; The Cat Mountain Four heard me sing at the Olympia after their performance and asked me to join their group of nine, dubbed as the "Cat Mountain Four". We were booked by International Harvester and paid $60 a performance for a "two hour family show." We traveled by car to eight different states.

The Cat Mountain Four played in any size town. Sarah and her hubby ran the group. I lived in their house, just like they were family. The pastor of the Birmingham Baptist Church dropped by and saw that I, in shirts and shorts, was an affront to Christ.

"What if He came when your were WEARING shorts?"

I answered, "What if He came when I was soaking in the tub?"

After returning to Miami to live with my parents, I did my disc jockey roles for various stations, went to Cat Cay for a week to cover their International Yacht Club jollies. My first time around elegant peers with fancy accents, I was a mere 21. The Miami News sent me and the photographer, whose wife was in her final week of pregnancy. They had an amateur night down by the sea at the clubhouse and it was a hit. I was asked to deliver a few tunes at every mealtime.

Joan Nielsen McHale
I kept a diary and sent back stories to the Miami News wherever I roved. We have been placing them with photos I and other photographers used. Too bad newsrooms throughout the country tossed their files. I have boxes of my clippings---stories that start in the spring of my life. And my mother saved everything I brought home.

Today, our blog Good News Writes Again has the best of what's been happening locally and nationally. We're printing one of my books called "We Don't Let Dorothy Crack The Eggs Anymore"--and I've got more delights coming your way like "I'm Giving the Kids All the Money They Owe Me."