Some things that revolve around 'The Sun'
October 24, 2007
The 'pronoia' thing is catching on—even if my brain isn't always functioning as it should.
I stop in at Lucky's for a carry out and Diane—the ever professional bar tender/server greets me with her trademark smile.
Diane has become a friend of mine. She lives in the Capac area, is a single mom who works hard to get by and who does what she has to do to make it happen. She's one of the nicest people you'd ever want to know—there's nothing phony about her. She is excellent at what she does, she's a marvel to watch when things get hairy. She stays cool all the time.
I admire her strength and physical beauty. Like a handful of the women whose paths have crossed with mine these days I can't tell if she's 35 or 45 or 55 (though I know that's not true). There's something about being comfortable in one's own skin that is somewhat age-defying. More than any skin cream, lip balm, liposuction, and yes—I am loathe to admit—even hair color.
Anyhow, Diane says "The last couple of columns have been interesting. But I noticed that last week after the woman wrote in about 'The Sun,' and asked you where to find it you didn't put that in."
I laugh. I realized my omission around 8 p.m. last Tuesday evening—right around the same time I realize this or that about everything that's going to show up in the paper the next day. That hazy, twilight-zoney time where I'm finally wound down from the treadmill of the work day and all sorts of things seep through the cracks as the must-get-it-done-so-much-to-do walls melt.
"I know," I say. "I couldn't believe it. I thought of it too late."
But since pronoia has been in action in my life lately, the faux pas was already being resolved in cyber space.
Another woman I consider a friend was emailing me just about the time Diane and I were having our conversation. Janis Grant, a former college professor who now operates Reliteration Used Books in the upper floor of the Mill in Almont, took a few moments to brighten my day. Here's what she had to say this week:
"I was surprised to see my, ahem, private email all over your column this week. I'd clean forgot that I was corresponding with a writer and anything is grist... Just kidding of course. Any publicity is good publicity and I appreciate your mention of my little store. Anyway, I write to suggest this: that I will have a quantity of Suns on hand (my back issues) as free samples for folks who would like to give it a try before committing to a subscription. So, if you receive further inquiries you might like to tell them this.
"I had thought at one time that I might carry the Sun, newsstand style, but thought surely that the market was not there for it. Could I have been wrong?"
I don't doubt it. Since I've written about the magazine that led to some pretty amazing encounters in my life, people around here have been interested.
For a little background, The Sun was started by a former journalist who'd had enough of the business (gee, I wonder why). Anyhow, he felt that he had gotten so far away from what he used to be as a young naive writer and that he was doing little to contribute to the good of mankind. He began selling a stapled together pile of essays, poetry and interviews with little known figures who have done great things on street corners in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
His college town, hand-typed, photocopied 'magazine' little by little gained popularity.
Today it is slick and glossy, includes many photos (black and white) and some of the tightest and most honest writing I've ever run across. As illustrated by the first half of this column, people aren't perfect and The Sun often reflects the human experience in its flawed and beautiful and quirky and glorious state.
The magazine accepts no advertising, so there isn't the blur in editorial content that often occurs in commercial publications.
It's not your grandmother's magazine, though. Some of the topics are uncomfortable and some of the prose is written the way people talk—f-bombs and all. The best part is the 'Readers Write' section, where readers are invited to ponder a theme each month and write about it. It is honest and real and always leaves me feeling less alone, more enlightened, or laughing.
So, stop in Reliteration Used Books and check out a hard copy of The Sun. Or visit the Web site at
Email Catherine at