Mariposa Life

Debbie Croft: Many tales of Mercedian nights

Debbie Croft

The Tales of the Arabian Nights begins with a fictional account of a wise, albeit desperate woman who used her gift for story-telling to save her life. Every evening she wove her words into a richly layered narrative, to please her royal husband, always stopping before the end. This kept him in such suspense that he would have to let her live at least one more day -- in order to hear the rest of the story. By the time she reached the end, he had fallen in love with her, relieving her fears of execution. (Whew!)

Every age has its story tellers and its scribes. Since the beginning of time, everyday events have been chronicled and legends have been told.

Saturday mornings at our house are spent at the kitchen table, with homemade biscuits or pancakes and at least one newspaper. We eat, we read, give an opinion or two, and we laugh. Ron pulls out his favorite sections, our daughter grabs the comics, and I find out what's happening locally and scan the ads.

Our family's a little old-fashioned. I know. We don't turn on the computer to get the news.

"What's going on in the world? Yep... That's what I thought... Another bank is closing... People are losing their homes... And it's just one more day of bad news..." So says one of our readers. "Can't you print some good news?" he asked. "Surely there must be somebody doing something good around here."

Besides the local and national sports scores, and the usual gang/foreclosure/murder/theft/drug and "Merced is in the lowest and/or neediest rankings" news, there are actually a lot of inspiring people in this part of California. And that's what I get to write about. I don't have a degree in journalism, and I don't clock in at the newsroom. But I enjoy meeting fascinating people and sharing their stories with you.

Unfortunately, some of the best writers in the area are losing their jobs. Not only that, the Sun-Star is cutting costs and getting smaller.

Because people aren't buying newspapers.

And businesses aren't advertising in newspapers.

Because newspapers aren't selling.

(More bad news. Sorry.)

The Sun-Star is a collection of news and stories -- tales of Mercedian days and nights, if you will. Before we allow the newspaper to go the way of cassette tapes, consider getting a subscription for the Friday and Saturday editions only. Just two papers a week, delivered to your door. We'll take the challenge to write more interesting and uplifting stories, especially at this time in America's history. And you can help by buying more newspapers, where employers and businesses can advertise, folks can sell or trade their good junk, families can brag a little, and neighbors can learn about each other and lend a helping hand wherever needed.

(Got any good ideas? Let us know. We're hoping to stick around for awhile.)

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at