This is ONE OF 3 responses to VC 26 John 14 ("The Golden Seagull Award")...
Once again it was impossible to narrow the field of superb voice cards generated in the last year to only three nominations. I picked twelve on my first pass and then, after much pacing and hand-wringing, cut that number in half. Further cutting was more than I could bear. Here, then, are my top picks (command-click to jump to the cards):
At the top of my list is a card by Drury written for our ongoing romance/adventure novel: VC 25 Drury 6 - "Black and Blue." This was not only a wickedly funny riposte to Paul's superb opening, it was damn good writing as well. I think our resident vet may have a second career as a writer of tawdry romance thrillers. Allow me to add that both Paul and Stuart's contributions to this effort are also ripping good fun!
My next nomination is for a pair of cards: VC 23 Stuart 2 and VC 23 Stuart 3 ("Babbling Scmabbling" and "Aideedoo!"). These mini-lectures on the importance (or non-importance) of spelling and vocabulary gently lift off the surface of their original intent and become airy musings on the nature of this archipelago and the art of writing voice cards. With these cards, Stuart once again gets to the very heart of what Archipelago is all about.
My third nomination is a simple but charming card: VC 25 Roger 1 - "4th of July in Alameda". Roger did an excellent job of capturing the sights and sounds of the wacky Alameda parade - it's short but very sweet: a surprising find.
Having made my three nominations I must hasten to add several other cards worthy of (honorable) mention. VC 26 Stuart 7, Stuart's vivid description of his favorite high school teacher, was revealing in the best way. Sometimes I find out more about what makes my friends tick in a single voice card than in hours of conversation.
Other close runner-ups: VC 25 Yumi 2 (in which Yumi finds insights and a solid middle ground in my sometimes heated debate with Drury about job hell), VC 25 Stuart 12 (Stuart's wonderful account of my wedding; see also Roger's short but equally wonderful reportage: VC 25 Roger 4), VC 24 Robert 0 (Robert's jungle adventures), and VC 24 Janine 9 (the death of Janine's friend Emily; see also Drury's wise reply).
Also, in the special project category, I would like to recognize Larry for his ongoing record of his daughter's development. Each one of these cards is a keeper.
My final nomination is for best title. Paul and Larry are old hands at the fine art of voice card naming, and Janine has a special flair, but Stuart still reigns supreme as titlist extraodinaire. (Titlist? ) The only problem is choosing from among his many triumphs. For some reason, though, my choice was clear - a title so insane that I can't quite get it out of my head (and I HAVE tried several times): VC 24 Stuart 4 - "Saladbar to a Counterpoint."
1992 was another fine year for voice cards. My deepest bow to each and every one of you.