An Apology is an Order
April 1984, was the month and year that yours truly started writing rose-colored glasses. That is eighteen months of telling all. In these eighteen months. I have had my share of recognition because of this column. My friends introduce me to strangers as “The poor man’s Erma Bombeck” and one evening in Fort Lupton a group of ladies asked me if I was rose colored glasses…no name, just rose colored glasses. I have enjoyed my share of letters to the Editor and women ask me how I can possibly know their husband and kids well enough to write about them. I certainly have enjoyed all the attention, having no previous writing experience, it makes me feel good to write down the way I see things and have people enjoy reading and identifying with it. Last week I got some special recognition that I would like to tell you about.
In last weeks mail there was a letter address- ed to Mr. Paul Massey. Publisher of the Fort Lupton Press, from none other than…The Coca Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Now you know you have arrived when you get a letter from a company like this. This official letter was from Joan H. Ziering, legal assistant for The Coca Cola Company. In this letter she told publisher Paul Massey that one of his “staff writers” Liz Massey had used a lower case “c” while referring to Coke in one of her rose- colored glasses columns. Attached to the letter was a photo copy of my column titled. “Dearie, do you remember when…” This was the column about my class reunion written in July They had even taken the time to underline my had written, “do you remember when you could go to Gene’s Texas Ham burgers and get a hamburger, fries and Coke for less than a dollar.” only I hadn’t capitalized the letter “c” in the word Coke. They explained that Coke is the trade mark and by using a lower case “c” In Coke they ran the risk of losing their valuable trademark protection.
Now folks, wouldn’t you think that a mega bucks company like The Coca Cola Company would have better things to do than pick on a small potato like me? Let’s face it, my column does not appear in USA Today. I would thinlk that just keeping track of all the cans of NEW Coke. CLASSIC Coke, cherry Coke, diet Coke, caffeine free! diet Coke. caffeine free! Coke, Tab. diet Sprite, and Sprite (whew) all over the world would be enough to keep them busy. Although I must say. I am flattered that such a powerful company and their employees take time to read my silly little column.
There is one thing that I feel should not go unmentioned. In their letter to Publisher Paul Massey they made one little teenie tiny mistake too. Their mistake came when they referred to me as a “staff writer.” I do not think of myself as a staff writer…staff writers get paid. On the masthead the name Elizabeth Massey appears directly above the hyphenated word, co-publisher. This is one of the wifely positions in the weekly newspaper business that does not draw a paycheck.
So you can see, this little ole’ column sure do get around. I truly regret putting such a large company trademark in jeopardy and apologize for any inconvenience I might have caused them. I did not mean any harm, it was very unintentional, seems I have always had the bad habit of referring to soft drinks as Cokes. You can bet it will never happen again, from now on when referring to a trade name in this column. I will be careful and get the name just right like…PEPSI.