News Archives

Caveat Emptor

Neverlandians, by now you have no doubt heard that my father, George Darling, is stepping down from his position as editor-in-chief of the Kensington Chronicle. When Father made a deal with Mr. Hook to sell the paper to JH Media, we were assured that he would continue to run the day-to-day operations at the Chronicle, and that the paper would not be substantially changed going forward. But, from what little he’s told me about it, to all appearances my father’s resignation is a matter of creative differences between himself and the new management. That being the case, I can’t help the nagging suspicion that the winds are about to change here at our local paper, and quite possibly not for the better.

Though my father’s separation from his beloved local newspaper appears on the surface to be entirely amicable, the fact of the matter is George Darling is a man of far too much integrity to air his dirty laundry in a public forum. If there is something more contentious underlying his departure, we may likely never know about it. And the whole situation is further complicated by the fact that our new editor-in-chief, Jas Hook himself, is inextricably entangled with the Darling family on a personal level; it’s no secret that he and my sister Wendy have been happily dating since her time working at JH Media’s corporate headquarters in New York City.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I have used this very space to sing Mr. Hook’s praises in the past. My respect for him as a self-made media mogul knows no bounds. And he has given me no reason to believe that he has anything but the best of intentions when it comes to my sister; Mr. Hook and Wendy are, I think, a coupling to which we all could aspire. But I can believe all of those things about him and still have reservations about some of the decisions he’s made re: the Chronicle, even in the short time he’s been at the helm, not the least of which being his decision to take the paper global. For a paper that has been about hyperlocal news since its inception, that sends up a big red flag.

And it is with great regret that I report that this article you are now reading will be the last of the John Darling editorials, such as they have been. And perhaps I don’t have quite as much integrity as my father, because I feel compelled to say that the cessation of this feature is in no way a choice that I have made; it is, rather, an edict that has come down from up on high. It is my sincerest hope that the demise of my longtime column is in no way connected with my vocal equivocation about the direction of the Chronicle under the new management (though, to Mr. Hook’s credit, he has allowed me to run this piece unedited, in its original form). I had hoped to one day be the top newsman myself here at the Chronicle, but I have in effect been demoted from assistant to the editor-in-chief to merely a staff writer. As of this moment, I do not know the type of content I will be expected to produce under the new regime. I would love it if my instincts about all of this were wrong; but they so very rarely are.

Dear readers, I cannot thank you enough for your unwavering support over lo these many years. And I am not going anywhere! Not yet. The Kensington Chronicle as we knew it may be dead, replaced instead by the K-Chron, but some things never change. As long as I’m here, you, the people of Neverland, will have a voice. And don’t hesitate to tell me on Twitter what you think of this new direction in the days and weeks to come. The Kensington Chronicle has always been a paper of and for the people; and if I have anything to say about it, the same will hold true for the K-Chron.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on February 20, 2017

The More They Stay The Same

People of Neverland, Jas Hook here.  My darling Wendy recently brought it to my attention that her family’s local newspaper has been floundering.  This news kicked me back on my heels, and spurred me on to do something about it; not just because the Kensington Chronicle matters to Wendy but because it matters to me.  I, too, read John’s editorials week in and week out, and take no small source of pleasure from Michael’s Dear Darling videos.  What’s more, even though I’ve spent the better part of my life far from the town I first called home, an important part of my heart has always been in Neverland.  For a long time, I was the only out-of-state subscriber to the Chronicle.  Shipping a copy to New York on a daily basis is not the cheapest proposition in the world, but being the CEO of a massive global conglomerate like JH Media does occasionally have its privileges.  Honestly, my advisors recommended against acquiring the Chronicle; “It doesn’t make any sense,” they told me, “Not from a financial standpoint.” Well, I’ll tell all of you exactly what I told them: JH Media is about more than just what makes “financial sense.”

I didn’t really know Mr. George Darling very well in high school, but I’ve spent a great deal of time with him on my most recent visit to Neverland.  And I’m happy to report that he’s every bit the charming, local hero that the paper makes him out to be.  His passion for the Chronicle is unmatched (except, perhaps, by that of his son John), and I’m proud to say that more than a little of that passion has rubbed off on me.  Like George said in his last editorial, the Kensington Chronicle is a Neverland institution.  And as such, I want to inform everyone that JH Media maintains a commitment to making as few changes as possible.  With that in mind, for as long as he’s willing and able, there will always be a place for Mr. George Darling at the helm.

I know that John Darling, editor of our online edition, is a prototypical Neverlandian in his reluctance to embrace change.  It’s my understanding that he’s not been taking the paper’s sale  particularly well, which is why he hasn’t written any editorials for the past several weeks.  But I want to make it clear that I know John’s aversion to the new status quo has nothing to do with me or my company; John and I have enjoyed nothing but the most cordial of relationships since I came into his sister Wendy’s life.  I think John is just having trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that the family business is no longer all in the family.  But I have no doubt that John will come around, and his position will be waiting for him when he does.  Because, as a longtime reader, I understand that the Kensington Chronicle needs John Darling as much as he needs it.

So take heart, people of Neverland: your beloved local newspaper isn’t going anywhere.  If anything, I’m committed to making the Kensington Chronicle better than ever.  I’d also like to invite your input during this period of transition, to make sure we’re putting out a paper that meets, and hopefully even exceeds, your needs.  Despite my complicated history with Neverland, in my heart it’s always been my home.  It is an incredible honor to shepherd my favorite local paper into what I know will be a new era of prosperity, and I’m fully aware of the great responsibility that that entails.  Your stories are the heart of Neverland, constant readers, and we’re going to keep telling your stories.  Because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on September 9, 2015

Neverspeak Lastly?

As you all know, there have been a few changes here at the Chronicle in the last couple weeks. The good news is our new owner Jas Hook has assured us that we all still have jobs. The other news is that we aren’t totally sure what those jobs will look like. As JH Media takes over operations, Neverspeak Weekly will be taking a brief hiatus to “retool, reimagine, and reignite.” Though I am a great fan of alliteration, those are Mr. Hook’s words, not mine.

I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed writing about the goings-on in Neverland this summer. What started out as a job became a true pleasure as I started to think of you less as subjects and more as friends. Since I don’t know when this column will be back up and running, I would like to use this last edition as a moment to reflect on an amazing summer in Neverland. Below I have pulled some of my favorite gossip items from the last 11 issues.

Scandalous!?  Neverlandians’ reactions were mixed to the first publication of this column.  There was a lot of support but also some uncertainty.  Just know that we here at the Kensington Chronicle are trying to shake things up and add a new dimension to our beloved Neverland.  No one knows what that crazy, free-spirit of a gossip columnist Ms. Skylights will be up to next!

A Lovely Night. Neverlandians gathered on Thursday night for the 2nd Annual Midsummer Ball. The night was a smashing success. Though some townsfolk worried that this sophomore outing wouldn’t measure up to last year’s festivities, they were soon mollified and amazed by this year’s ball-to-the-wall bash. With the help of Lily Bagha’s generosity and the Party Planning Committee’s dedication, Neverlandians enjoyed more music and more spectacle than ever before.  Check out the photospread below for the ball’s fierce fashion!

Love Bugs. No bugs had to be planted by this gossip columnist to pick out the couples in the room on Thursday night. Everyone wants their Cinderella moment at a ball, and, happily, a large amount of Neverlandians got just that! Juliet and Wesley were seen sharing bites of ice cream, a charming cowboy made a last minute appearance to dance with a book shop belle, and Bri was seen dancing with Agent Tacos back early from his assignment. And in the most romantic moment of the night, Sarah-Jane Lakewood received a proposal from her boyfriend Alfie.

Taco Time! Bri Vivladia, Agent Tacos and friends had a Taco Night this past Friday on Big Bear Rock. Sources say it was mostly couples sipping on sangria and taking in the beautiful summer night. Eli Traynor escorted Mia Rivers, Juliet Carpenter brought Wesley Parsons, Nanny Ams came with Bertie Screener (before he was scared away by some overly friendly Fate Stalkers.)

Holy Mole-y! The Fate Stalkers have been out in full form braving the summer heat for love. (Though maybe it isn’t so brave since they carry their shade around with them.) Most Neverlandians were happy to see them out and about, but some thought they were getting a little bushy – I mean, pushy. Word has it things got heated between the Stalkers and Bertie Screever after he threw a banana peel into a shrub-covered Stalker. However, things have a way of working out. Through this altercation, the Fate Stalkers met their newest member, the recently inducted Dole the Mole. As far as we know, this is the first animal Fate Stalker.

New Sheriff in Town. G. Harrison Lestrade has been offered the job of Neverland’s Deputy Sheriff pending a background check. But, since he comes directly from the FBI, that shouldn’t be a problem! While we’ve had to say goodbye to a couple of Neverlandians, we are excited to welcome him and accountant Wesley Parsons (who’s looking for a roommate!) to the community full time.

Hearty Party. Everyone had a great time at the Jolly Roger Soda Ship 100 year Anniversary Party. Aimee and Katie served up an endless supply of delicious sweets and treats. Throughout the day patrons answered trivia about the shop’s history in between socializing and listening to a set by Fish Girl Pond. Neverlandians in attendance included Wesley Parsons, Juliet Carpenter, G. Harrison Lestrade, Bri Valdivia, Mia Rivers, Nanny Ams, Teresa Delacruz, and many more.

Neverspear In Love. This is why we love being Neverlandians! Everyone in town turned out to support Peter Pan in his artistic pursuit this past Thursday. Auditions took place on Wednesday, and with only a day’s notice actors took the stage the next night. John Darling, Michael Darling, G. Harrison Lestrade, Teresa Delacruz and Rowan O’Connor joined the cast along with Mr. Pan while Elsa Fairy, Lorelie Williams, Fish Girl Pond and yours truly helped bring the production together. Everyone celebrated a job well done with a toast at the Jolly Roger after the show.

Sign Language. Wendy Darling started her book tour here in Neverland last week. Locals lined up outside of Neverland Books to get their hands on some of the first copies of her new book “Ask Wendy!”. The local, soon to be national, celebrity was gracious and charming as she signed books for everyone who showed up and a few extras for those who couldn’t be there.

Beyond the Pale.  Even though it’s the end of summer and most of us are sun-kissed or just downright red, there have been a few new residents of the paler variety. Maybe they’re Scandinavian? But I never knew Scandinavians to have such a thirst for tomato juice. Well, thankfully, Teresa Delacruz seems to know how to keep those Scandinavians in line.  And don’t worry, she’s back from her vacation to Chicago with Neal.  Even Scandinavian wranglers need a little fun in the sun.

My Fair Soiree. As expected, Ms. Lakewood’s engagement party was quite the event! The guest list included Cecco, Ed Teynte, her roller derby crew, Marvel executives, Chris Pratt and Mermaid Lagoon. Neverlandians in attendance were Wendy Darling, Jas Hook, Sheriff Lestrade, Bri Valdivia, Nanny Ams, and Fish Girl Pond. The surprise of the night was when Special Guest Julie Andrews came out of retirement to sing to the couple.

PS (Perfectly Single). Not knowing that this might be the last Neverspeak for a while, I promised a Singles’ edition. I felt it was more important that I devote this article to a retrospective on the column. But, I do have a few words for the singles out there. Embrace your status because you are in the best position to prepare yourself for a great relationship. As one of my heroes, Lucille Ball, once said, “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.”

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on September 8, 2015

Shuffling Paper

Pop culture has done a lot to romanticize the notion of a captain going down with his ship.  Now, that might be an honorable decision once you’ve gotten everybody to the lifeboats.  But if your crew’s still onboard, it’s the captain’s duty to keep the ship afloat at all costs.  Even if that means ceding control of your boat to someone better equipped to stay its course.  Okay, let me back up for a minute, because this metaphor is getting unnecessarily dramatic.

George Darling here, longtime Editor in Chief and owner of the Kensington Chronicle, writing to explain why I’m not the paper’s owner anymore.  As many of you have no doubt already heard, I recently sold the Kensington Chronicle to JH Media.  After considering all the options, I found this to be the best one for everyone involved.  But just because it was the right choice, the only choice, doesn’t make it any easier for me, or for my family.  The Chronicle has been owned and operated by a Darling since my ancestor Kensington founded it in 1862, after all.

Now, the question on a lot of your lips is probably, how did it all come to this?  Well, in recent months, I’ve been candid on the Twitter about the paper’s financial difficulties.  And, truth be told, I wasn’t making the situation out to be quite as dire as it even was.  We were maybe just a few months out from me having to close the doors to the Chronicle for good.  And the fact of the matter is, I’ve got my employees to think about, some of my closest friends and kin, and some of the best newspapermen and women that I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.  They’re the crew members I talked about in the boat metaphor, the ones I can’t bear to see go down with the ship with me.  But even more than that, The Kensington Chronicle is a Neverland institution.  When we’re at our best, we’re providing the kind of relevant, hyperlocal news that I truly believe every Neverland resident has an inalienable right to.  So even if there wasn’t a whole staff of people whose livelihoods depended on the paper staying open, I couldn’t be so prideful as to deprive my community of its lifeblood just because I don’t want to see another man’s name on the masthead.

Mr. Jas Hook, owner of JH Media, and now, by extension, the Kensington Chronicle, has a reputation as a bit of a shark in the corporate world, but I think that reputation is undeserved.  For the better part of the past year, my daughter has been working at JH Media’s corporate headquarters in New York City, and what Jas has done for her since she got there, both personally and professionally, is something I don’t think I’ll ever be adequately able to thank him for.  And this was by no means a hostile takeover, not by a longshot.  I wouldn’t even say it was the best of some bad options.  Ultimately, I believe it’ll be a privilege to work for and with Mr. Hook, and that the JH Media name will give our local rag more resources than we’ve ever had before.  I’ll still be in charge of the day-to-day operations at the paper, and I’ll tell you this much: Not that much is going to change.  Not if I have anything to say about it.  Guess pretty soon we’ll see just how much my word still counts around here.

Oh, and lastly, a few of you have been asking after John.  I gotta tell you, he’s taken the news of the Chronicle sale harder than anyone.  Harder than I ever could have anticipated.  Suffice to say, me writing this week’s column was about more than me wanting to have a heart-to-heart with all of you loyal readers out there; John is also not in a great headspace at the moment.  I suspect he’ll resume his regularly-scheduled editorials soon, as he starts to come to grips with the new status quo around here.  He’ll be okay, we’ve weathered worse than this.  But thank you all for your kinds letters, on his behalf and mine.  We’re all still here, and we’re going to work just as hard for you as we did before.  Because when you get right down to it, no matter who’s signing our paychecks, The Kensington Chronicle is about Neverland.  And outside of my family, there’s nothing in this world I love more.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on August 31, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 8/25/2015

New Paper. If you haven’t already heard, JHMedia has bought the Kensington Chronicle. It’s definitely a little weird around here, but we are optimistic that the new merger will allow the Chronicle to keep both its integrity and its place in the hearts of Neverlandians. It’s pretty well known around town that the paper has been going through some hard times. While it’s difficult to imagine the paper being run by anyone but the Darlings, the important thing is that it’s still here.

Reapply Your UnBlock. The members of the local band Fish Girl Pond were seen with some friends at the Jolly Roger taking a break from touring and songwriting for some much needed R&R. Nanny Ams, Mia Rivers, and Rowan O’Connor joined them over plates of nachos and bowls of ice cream. Word has it the band is working on some new material. Perhaps they will debut a new song at Sarah-Jane Lakewood’s engagement party this week?

Sign Language. Wendy Darling started her book tour here in Neverland last week. Locals lined up outside of Neverland Books to get their hands on some of the first copies of her new book “Ask Wendy!”. The local, soon to be national, celebrity was gracious and charming as she signed books for everyone who showed up and a few extras for those who couldn’t be there.

Beyond the Pale.  Even though it’s the end of summer and most of us are sun-kissed or just downright red, there have been a few new residents of the paler variety. Maybe they’re Scandinavian? But I never knew Scandinavians to have such a thirst for tomato juice. Well, thankfully, Teresa Delacruz seems to know how to keep those Scandinavians in line.  And don’t worry, she’s back from her vacation to Chicago with Neal.  Even Scandinavian wranglers need a little fun in the sun.

Bagha Tricks. Local entrepreneur Lily Bagha is having a bad week. Just as word leaked that she and Peter Pan were all but finished, her company was taken over in a hostile move by JHMedia. Bagha Industries had gone public earlier this week, flooding the market with its stocks. Apparently, this was a gamble. The company stood to make a huge profit while they risked someone buying up all the stocks and have the controlling share of the company. This is exactly what happened when Jas Hook swooped in and immediately booted Lily Bagha out.

Star-crossed. Sarah-Jane Lakewood and fiance Alfie will be celebrating their engagement this Friday. It should be a swanky party – the only catch is that it is taking place in New York.  The couple’s families and circle of Hollywood friends will be in attendance.  Word has it they are flying in Mermaid Lagoon for the occasion. The party will be a throwback to 1920s glamour with New Orleans cuisine and endless champagne.  So, if you can hop a plane (or convince Sarah-Jane to share her jet), you probably should!

Boy in Blue. Neverland couldn’t be happier with its new Deputy Sheriff G. Harrison Lestrade. One resident said, “I feel safer knowing that Deputy Sheriff Lestrade is on the case, keeping our town safe. And it helps that he’s cute.” Another pledged to make him her famous chili cheese tacos stating, “Well, that’s his nickname isn’t it?” Yes, yes it is. Thanks for your constant vigilance, Deputy Sheriff Tacos! Let us know how those chili cheese things turn out!

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on August 25, 2015

A Nickel’s Worth of Free Advice

Stop the presses!  I’ve learned that my sister Wendy Darling’s book tour begins this Saturday at Neverland Books!  So I figured I’d use this week’s editorial to talk a little bit about it.  In case you haven’t read any of my earlier editorials on the subject, Wendy has written a book called “Ask Wendy: Advice on Life, Love and Living,” which is being put out by the publishing division of JH Media.  We’re all familiar with her storied career as advice columnist during her tenure running “Dear Darling” for the Kensington Chronicle before she moved on to bigger and better things, and this book is a must-have for anyone who enjoyed that feature!  Click on over to the JH Media site to read a few excepts, in case you’d like to try before you buy.  And using the form right below that, you can sign up to have free excerpts delivered right to your inbox.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier that our brief and unfounded estrangement is at an end, as I find myself in dire need of advice in the “love” category.  But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little guilty asking about my love life when I know hers is currently in such bitter turmoil.  I gather an ill-fated double date ended with her current and former beaus coming to blows.  And given that several of the players in this drama are near and dear to my heart, my brother and I have been put in the unenviable position of having to navigate this interpersonal minefield.  For the record, I personally have nothing but respect for Jas Hook, and based on what I’ve seen, he has comported himself as nothing but a perfect gentleman in regards to my sister.  And a part of me regrets my involvement in a recent community theatre piece that shall remain nameless; to say it amounted to little more than a thinly veiled attack on the current object of my sister’s affections would do thin veils an injustice.  [I should note that this is not meant as a slight against anyone but the play’s author; the cast and crew were nothing if not consummate professionals]

But I digress.  While this won’t cure all of my sister’s woes, I suspect that all we need to do to take her mind off her troubles is to make her first book signing  first book signing a rousing success.  To that end, I hope all of you will join me this Saturday, 8/15, at 1:30 p.m. EST at Neverland Books.  For more details, feel free to reach out to John Smee, Neverland Books proprietor Bri Valdivia, Cindy Sue, Constance Moriarty or any of the store’s other amazing employees.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on August 13, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 7/28/15

Ten Delicious Decades! As mentioned last week, the Jolly Roger Soda Ship is celebrating its 100th anniversary tomorrow, July 29th. The crew will be hosting an all-day party at the shop with yummy treats and music from Fish Girl Pond. In addition, shop owner Aimée Jolie will be posting an extensive history of the shop, chronicling its decades-long presence in Neverland and it’s ever-evolving role as a gathering place throughout the tumultuous twentieth century in America.

Reality Bites. Since the return of Jas Hook and Wendy Darling to Neverland, some Neverlandians have been tuning into the JHMedia Livestream to learn more about the company (and feed their curiosity about the power couple). Last Thursday those same Neverlandians witnessed a shocking confrontation between Hook and Neverland’s favorite son Peter Pan. Peter came across as, for lack of a better word, a bully. It will be interesting to see how he handles his new notoriousness.  Is the play really the thing?

Get me to the Church… Sarah-Jane Lakewood set a date for her nuptials to fiance Alfie. Neverlandians, mark your calendars for August 15, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Should be a hot ticket! As in literally very hot. August in Louisiana hot. Lakewood says invitations will be going out soon. Don’t give her honeymoon advice if you want to make the list!

Changes of Heart (and Location). Teresa Delacruz has relocated to New York City with her boyfriend Neal. Though everyone will be sad to see less of her, we wish her the best with her new life. And if you’ve stopped by Neverland Books lately, you’ve probably noticed that Mia Rivers still has not returned to her post. You only have to look so far as her tumblr to find that she’s currently residing at a crossroads between Neverland and Denver.  Though not always an easy thing to do, try to follow your heart where it leads, Mia!

New Sheriff in Town. G. Harrison Lestrade has been offered the job of Neverland’s Deputy Sheriff pending a background check. But, since he comes directly from the FBI, that shouldn’t be a problem! While we’ve had to say goodbye to a couple of Neverlandians, we are excited to welcome him and accountant Wesley Parsons (who’s looking for a roommate!) to the community full time.

Local Blues. Neverlandians were dismayed to read last week’s editorial in which John Darling, assistant to the Editor in Chief, opened up about the Kensington Chronicle’s financial difficulties. As a recent hire, this gossip columnist found the the article especially distressing. However, it’s been encouraging to watch Neverlandians gather around the paper in support. Many citizens have pledged to pick up subscriptions and the Neverland Care Center guaranteed that copies of the Chronicle would always be available in its waiting room. Keep supporting local news!

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@VidCon
Mermaid in Chelsea Creek
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McKellan and Stewart Recite Swift
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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on July 28, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 7/21/15

Love Rivangle. While most Neverlandians were utterly charmed by the return of local boy turned international success Jas Hook, one Neverlandian may not be. Peter Pan has been seen and heard around town making his feelings clear about the arrival of his, well, rival. It seems a bit childish to use such terms, but we all know our Peter has a youthful spirit. Word has it he may be channeling this spirit into a theatricalization of his feelings at the Neverland Theatre. Whichever team you’re on, this event should be too entertaining to pass up.

Holy Mole-y! The Fate Stalkers have been out in full form braving the summer heat for love. (Though maybe it isn’t so brave since they carry their shade around with them.) Most Neverlandians were happy to see them out and about, but some thought they were getting a little bushy – I mean, pushy. Word has it things got heated between the Stalkers and Bertie Screever after he threw a banana peel into a shrub-covered Stalker. However, things have a way of working out. Through this altercation, the Fate Stalkers met their newest member, the recently inducted Dole the Mole. As far as we know, this is the first animal Fate Stalker.

On the Move… Neverland Books has been minus one of its own this week. Sources say Mia Rivers made a hasty trip to her hometown of Denver, Colorado. No word on when she’ll return. In other news, Neverland may have a new sheriff in the coming weeks. Apparently, the prime candidate is as one deputy put it “very overqualified for the job.” Things have been pretty quiet in Neverland this summer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Taco Time! Bri Vivladia, Agent Tacos and friends had a Taco Night this past Friday on Big Bear Rock. Sources say it was mostly couples sipping on sangria and taking in the beautiful summer night. Eli Traynor escorted Mia Rivers, Juliet Carpenter brought Wesley Parsons, Nanny Ams came with Bertie Screener (before he was scared away by some overly friendly Fate Stalkers.)

Drama Club. Neverland’s own celebrity Sarah-Jane Lakewood continues to bring Hollywood glamour and histrionics to this small town. Hearing about Peter Pan’s possible plans has sent the actress into what some people have called a full movie-star meltdown. It seems she’s as formidable an enemy as she is a friend. While she’s been declaring herself against Peter Pan, she has been pulling strings to get another friend of hers a job. And all her friends are looking forward to her upcoming wedding which will be held at the Champagne Place in New Orleans.

100 Bottles of… Jolly Roger Soda Ship’s 100th Anniversary is coming up at the end of the month. The Neverland institution announced the upcoming celebration this week. They will be hosting an all day extravaganza on July 29th from 10AM to 10PM featuring music by Fish Girl Pond. Can’t wait to see (and taste) what delicious concoctions they come up with to celebrate!

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#Neverland4Life
Hamlet
@fatestalkermole
Clueless Tour of LA
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#cardsagainstausten
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#PoldarkPBS

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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on July 21, 2015

Growing Apart

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend my sister’s welcome home party, and I was struck by the melancholy realization that the older we get, the more and more quickly things change.  I’ve known Wendy for literally as long as I can remember, and for so many years, whether we liked it or not, my siblings and I were inseparable.  Dozens of photo albums’ worth of important milestones came and went in the blink of an eye, and I watched my siblings grow up so gradually that I was scarcely aware they were changing at all.  But after she’s spent a mere 6 months, Wendy’s made herself a new life in New York City, filled with a cast of unfamiliar characters, and that realization has forced me to come to grips with just how much I’ve missed her.

Of course, Wendy isn’t the only person guilty of moving on.  It’s shocking how quickly Neverland sans Wendy has become the new status quo, for all of us.  Michael stepped in to replace Wendy at Dear Darling.  Wendy’s duties as surrogate mother to Michael have fallen to me.  Our friend Lily even took Wendy’s place as Peter’s girlfriend.  The circle has closed, and everyone in it seems perfectly happy.  And yet, I wonder how much of that is a carefully crafted self-delusion that we all share.

I’ve been so excited about Wendy’s book and all that that means for her that it’s blinded me to the reality of my own feelings about the void she left in all our lives.  Much to my own surprise (and dismay), the reception Wendy received from both Michael and myself at her triumphant homecoming was downright chilly.  And the bizarre notion of Wendy being a visitor in Neverland just brings out in stark relief how off kilter everything’s been in her absence.  I’d hoped her return would bring us all closer together, but instead some things have come to light that threaten to drive a wedge between lifelong friends.

Now, change isn’t always a bad thing.  I recently wrote an editorial about how Neverland’s own Jas Hook pulled himself up by his bootstraps and improved almost every aspect of his life.  Though, in his case, he did have to move away and leave everything he knew behind in order to do so.  And, to be clear, I don’t in any way begrudge Wendy her desire to forge her own destiny; she’s amazing, and I’m truly thrilled that the world at large is starting to see that.  I just hope that Michael, Father and I factor somewhere into that success.  And that our family and our friendships can stay the course in these stormy waters.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on July 16, 2015

Neverland Underground

More than 240 years ago, our great nation declared its independence, severing its ties to Great Britain.  But the road towards stability was fraught with discord.  In 1861, a bitter divide between the north and the south plunged the United States of America into Civil War.  And this couldn’t have come at a worse time for the city of Neverland; our town had only been in existence for two short years.   Neverland was so nascent it was even money whether or not it was even going to survive, and suddenly our entire nation was torn asunder!

Only two minor battles were fought on Ohio soil, but that didn’t mean that our proud State was about to stand on the sidelines.  The State of Ohio distinguished itself in a number of ways during the War Between the States.  For one thing, Ulysses S. Grant, General-in-Chief of the Union army, was, himself, Ohio-born.  What’s more, some 320,000 Buckeyes enlisted in the Union Army, making Ohio third behind only New York and Pennsylvania in total manpower contributed to the Northern war effort.

But Ohio, and Neverland specifically, made another indelible mark on our nation’s history, in the years leading up to the war and beyond; it was a haven for runaway slaves.  The one-time pirates that founded Neverland with J.M. Barrie built a shelter that came to be called the Underground Home, which was, as the name suggested, literally underground.  Former pirate Samuel Hook, ancestor to Neverland’s own Jas Hook, and a fairy by the name of Liberty Bell were the driving force behind our town’s involvement in the Underground Railroad.  Liberty and her fairy friends acted as beacons, leading runaway slaves to their underground haven.

Of course ultimately, our town and our nation endured.  But I’m going to take today to remember just how hard fought our independence really was, and how close we came to letting it all slip away.  Our state’s significant contribution during the Civil War is just one more reason why I am, as ever, proud to be an Ohioan.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on July 6, 2015

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