Weed it and reap

The best headline I ever wrote as a newspaper editor, I believe, was “Weed it and reap.”
It was a slant on the old phrase “read it and weep,” often associated with poker.
I wrote it over an editorial which appeared a week or so prior to the Pittston Tomato Festival one year. The idea was to encourage Pittston residents to spruce the place up.
I can’t remember, but I may have quoted the Mickey Mouse Club too.
When I was a tyke, the Mickey Mouse Club designated each day of the week for a special purpose. Tuesdays were special guest days. The program would open with the Mouseketeers cleaning up the club while singing:
Today is Tuesday, you know what that means
We’re gonna have a special guest
So get out the brooms and sweep the place clean
And dust off the mat so the welcome can be seen

The Tomato Festival, I wrote, means special guests will be coming to Pittston. Thousands of special guests.
We needed to make a good impression.
I suggested something each and every Pittstonian could do toward that end: pull up a weed.
If you look around town you will see weeds growing in the darnedest places, usually along curbs and between the cracks in sidewalks. It’s a credit to weeds how little dirt they need to thrive. But they don’t look good. Some are two feet tall. They need to go.
Ridding the city of all unwanted weeds can seem daunting. There are far more weeds than there are people. But if each of us would make an effort to pull up just one weed a day, ONE WEED, you’d be surprised what a difference it would make.
I also suspect that the practice is habit forming. Pull one weed and you are bound to pull another.
And if everyone committed to this purpose, the city would look spectacular.
That’s the “reap” part. We all would reap the reward of living in a clean, pleasant environment.
And our guests would be so impressed.
With the Tomato Fest opening next Thursday, do I have to spell out why I am writing this today?

Ed Ackerman