Gabriel San Roman
Slingshot: A Final Awards Gala for OC Weekly
I poured myself a glass of Four Roses bourbon last week in readying myself for this year's Orange County Press Club Excellence in Journalism Gala--Facebook live edition. Kedric Francis, as virtual emcee for the night, read through the award categories and announced the winners.
The first run of advocacy awards pitted Behind the Badge against Halloween Every Night. (I still don't know which website is scarier!).
Later on in the evening, the traditional print contests arrived as did a moment to pour out some of that bourbon for the late, great OC Weekly.
In years past, the Weekly wrecking crew came, drank and dashed away with more hardware than thieves at Home Depot! Just two years ago, the late alternative newspaper claimed its biggest haul of honors from the Excellence in Journalism gala.
But then, the steady ship that was OC Weekly started springing leaks in the starboard before the owner sunk it altogether.
We hobbled across the finish line last year, just months shy of our demeaning demise before Thanksgiving. Even then, we nabbed 14 honors and six first place finishes. Best of all, longtime managing editor Patty Marsters, who also serves as treasurer of the OC Press Club, took home the Sky Dunlap Award for lifetime achievement and community involvement.
This year's awards got postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With social distancing, an in-person gathering proved impossible--so much for one last hurrah with former colleagues. Sigh.
But the hardworking OC Press Club organizers ensured the event would go on virtually. And, damn it, despite all that the staff endured, the Weekly produced quality work during its final stretch.
So how did we do? OC Weekly took ten honors, including two first place finishes. They are as follows:
First Place: "A Night In the Life of an Overnight TV-News Stringer"
Best Arts/Culture Story
Second Place: "Dice Are How You Flex"
Best Environmental News Story
Third Place: "How Sea Level Rise Will Change Orange County"
Best Food/Restaurant Review
Second Place: "The Omelet at the New Délice Breton in San Juan Capistrano is Oeuf-ing Good"
Best Round-Up or Best Of
Third Place: Edwin Goei, "Discover the Next Level of Pho, Bành Mí and Bún at These Little Saigon Spots"
And lastly, my yield...
Best Pubic Affairs Story
First Place: "Trump's Travel Ban Keeps an Iranian Woman Away From Her OC Husband"
Best Travel Story
Second Place: "The Earth is Sacred. Chimayo Proves It"
Best Investigative Story
Third Place: "Ticket Masters: Anaheim Showers Supporters With Tickets to the Hottest Attractions in Town"
Best Education Story
Third Place: "The Fight Over a School Named for a Brea Pioneer Who Happened to be a Klansman"
The Real O.C. Award
Third Place: "Gloria Lopez's Legendary Activism Began with the Integration of an Anaheim Mexican School"
Next month, a trio of former Weeklings, myself included, are nominees for LA Press Club awards. That will be the final bow for OC Weekly just ahead of what would've been its 25th birthday. After that, Ghanaian pallbearers can dance our coffin off for good.
- Gabriel San Román
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Your Mouse Muckraker / Photo by Federico Medina
Ding-dong, Halloween is dead!
October 31 is still very much on the calendar and is less than 100 days away but coronavirus, a real life killer, is dispensing with all the festivities. The latest Halloween cancellations include California Adventure's Oogie Boogie Bash.
There's no real reason to expect this pandemic's journey into fall and winter to be anything less than brutal, but all is not lost.
Though the Haunted Mansion remains closed, The Artist Lodge is presenting "Grim Grinning Gallery: A Haunted Mansion Tribute." The online gallery begins on October 3 but the Artist Lodge is already introducing people on Instagram to the 40 participating artists. And in September, they'll be spotlighting individual artists.
Don't worry. As Halloween approaches, there will still be plenty of ways to creep it real!
By the Byline
A reminder: this Friday, Libromobile will publish my latest Off the Page Column about another online event folks can check out. Don't miss it!