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A Lively Night

Hey Wendybirds!

I am so excited to bring Ask Wendy back to the new K-Chron!  Sooooo excited that I spent an hour last night giving advice live from my office at the new JH Media building visible from…well, everywhere in Neverland.  The last year has been a whirlwind and it was so magical to return to the place where it all began.  Me, you and a web cam in good, old Neverland, Ohio.

Always yours,

Wendy

PS) Hope you enjoy the input from my trusty assistant as much as I did.  Remember, darlings, no matter how hard life gets, a good friend can always make it better.  (And a good laugh, too!)

 

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Posted in Ask Wendy
Posted on March 2, 2017

Dear Darling – SELF HELP!

Dear Darling,
Hey Michael it’s Michael! How are you? Never mind I know exactly how you’re doing – you’re freaking out! Everything is changing and I don’t know what to do! Today I saw John wearing a wrinkled shirt. A WRINKLED SHIRT!!! If that is not a clear sign that these are the end times than I don’t know what is! So I guess my question to me is…How do you stay calm when you have no friggin’ idea what will happen next, and down is up, and right is wrong, and good is bad, and you’re completely OUT OF CHEESY POOFS!?!?!?!!1

Sincerely Michael Darling.

Well, Michael I can tell by your punctuation that you are A) very handsome B) very cool and C) super stressed out.  And my advice to you is…I DON’T KNOW!  And what do I do when I’m lost?  Watch cartoons!!! So please enjoy this advice:

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Posted in Dear Darling
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

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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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on July 28, 2015

Neverspeak Weekly 7/14/15

Work it.  Things have settled down considerably in Neverland since the week of the ball.  Maybe it’s the sweltering heat, or maybe it’s the depleted wallets, but Neverlandians across the board have been getting back to work.  Apparently, Juliet Carpenter is working out of Wesley Parson’s accounting office these days.  Happy those two are making a go of it!  And word on the street is that Agent Tacos is looking for a job.  Seems to me any business would be lucky to have a trained FBI officer!

Chocolate-Covered Catch-up.  Wendy Darling, Neverland’s erstwhile advice blogger, is officially back in town!  Early last week she caught up with some of her old Neverland pals at the Jolly Roger.  While everyone was excited to see Wendy and her fierce new haircut, the big attraction was her fierce new arm candy.  She brought along JH Media mogul and professional heartthrob Jas Hook.  He regaled the group with tales from the city and pretty much charmed the pants off of everyone.   I mean, sources say.

Nerdy-landians Abroad. Some lucky Neverlandians traveled across the country this weekend for Comic Con in San Diego, California.  Becca Rodriguez and Drunk Austen (such a unique first name…is it Dutch?) tweeted updates from the ground so that those of us stuck in Ohio could enjoy the action.  Some of the fan favorites this year were Outlander, Batman vs. Superman, Star Wars, Supernatural, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and a little video blog about some people we know.

Painting the Town. Just as this gossip columnist was about to shuffle on home and drown her slow news week in a bottle of wine and some Netflix, she spotted something that made her journalist heart go all a’flutter.  In front of Neverland Books, one Mia Rivers and one Eli Trainer were engaged in a full out paint flirt – ahem – fight.  A little spying revealed that the dashing Texan was helping Ms. Rivers hang the new sign over the shop.   Mia’s dress may have lost the battle, but hopefully love is winning the war!

Trending
Shrubbery is the New Black
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Posted in Neverspeak
Posted on July 14, 2015

A Good, Right Hook

I mentioned last week that my sister Wendy now works for JH Media in New York City. Well, this week we’re going to take a look at the man who puts the JH in JH Media, Mr. Jas Hook. Jas, née James, was born and raised right here in Neverland. Tragically orphaned at a very young age, James was raised by his father’s sister, Emily Hook. Now, at this point in time, the Hook family was far from well to do, and James faced more than his share of adversity. James, at the time, was a boy of considerable girth for his age, evinced a youthful stutter, and was the butt of many a joke in his schoolboy years. One boy his age, a boy I know quite well, was particularly unkind. It got so bad that when James was 18, he went to live with a cousin in Berkshire, England, finishing out his senior year at Eton College. James subsequently went to Balliol College, where he earned a master’s in Business and Economics, and interned for two years with the world-famous Edward Thatch.

After receiving his master’s, the young entrepreneur, now called Jas, took out a loan to purchase L.J. Silver Pictures, a struggling film studio on the verge of bankruptcy. Renaming it JH Media, Jas turned the company’s fortune around in a mere two years. And making JH Media into a successful film studio was not the apex of his ambition; the company subsequently expanded into television, music and games, becoming nothing short of a media empire. And Jas sits at the helm of his media conglomerate at JH Media’s corporate headquarters in New York City.

And while Jas was building his empire, he was also busy reinventing himself on a personal level. He managed to shed those extra pounds through healthy living, and overcame his childhood stutter. Our town founder J.M. Barrie is one of his personal heroes, and Jas fancies himself an explorer, both literally and figuratively. He forged his journey to England and back again, overcoming personal and financial adversity in a true rags-to-riches story. And so committed is Jas to the idea of transparency and fiscal responsibility that he’s recently installed cameras all over JH Media’s headquarters, laying his entire corporate structure to bare. Jas went from being a troubled, bullied orphan to one of Forbes’ top 100 most influential people for the past three years running. I believe Mr. Hook’s unparalleled success and irreproachable integrity is indicative of just how fruitful a crucible Neverland can be; his is a success story the entire town can be proud of.

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Posted in Editorials
Posted on June 15, 2015

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