A long time ago, after the first World's Coolest Ephemera Contest, I received a curious email from a reporter at a large Canadian Newspaper. He wanted to do a story about the contest, my blog, and the whole crazy Internet scene, dig? We exchanged email--back and forth--over the course of several weeks. Being a working journalist myself, I was willing to indulge a lot questions and provide images, you know, be as helpful as I could. As far as I know, the story never ran. I think the reporter's dog died or it began to rain heavily or something. Anyway, I've had this interview in my Outlook email folder for ages, and I thought I'd find some use for it. So, from the archives, here's my unpublished Canadian Newspaper interview:
Canadian Newspaperman: What I'm after is how you got the idea for the contest...do you have a lot of way-gone stuff in your own closets?
ephemera: I'm interested in ephemera from the standpoint of its value to researchers, writers, artists, historians, genealogists, collectors, and others; therefore, the mission of my blog is designed to primarily showcase the world-class ephemera collections of others. Although I have a few pieces of ephemera, my personal collection is extremely limited. Rather, I'm interested in seeing what exists in the collection of others, and the contest was one means of tapping into the extraordinary wealth of ephemera that is held in public and private hands throughout the world.
ephemera: Yes, I received a number of submissions for the contest, and I also received several comments about the items that were entered.
Canadian Newspaperman: Were there any rules attached...did items have to have a G-rating?
ephemera: The contest was completely subjective. It was solely based on what I personally liked and thought my readers would find interesting. The items didn't necessarily have to be G-rated; however, I seldom feature anything on the site that wouldn't be appropriate for a general audience. Nonetheless, the site is not intended for children, as the nature of ephemera often broaches decidedly adult topics.
Canadian Newspaperman: And your's was all ephemera, correct?
ephemera: Yes, the contest was only open to ephemera--meaning items made of paper that were not necessarily intended to last beyond a short period. There are many definitions of ephemera. Of all the definitions of ephemera that I've seen, my favorite is "raw, unedited history."
Canadian Newspaperman: Any thoughts on why people hang on to things long past their expiry date...did entrants offer any excuses of their own why they hadn't thrown this or that away, all these years?
ephemera: There are a variety of reasons why certain old paper has survived to the present day. In some cases, it's just a fluke or luck or happenstance. More often, people save old paper deliberately for a variety of reasons, such as sentimental value, nostalgia, reference, and/or for collecting purposes. As opposed to offering excuses, most people take pride in the items they've saved or collected, especially those people that consider themselves to be true ephemera collectors.
Canadian Newspaperman: Were you the judge and jury re: winners?
ephemera:Yes, it was completely my decision. And it was all done in good fun--there weren't any prizes or trophies awarded.
So, friends, there you have it-- the coolest unpublished Canadian newspaper interview.