Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Columnist for an Audience of One

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Columnist for an Audience of One

Article excerpt

How Arizona Republic columnist David Leibowitz used drop-cap typography to give new meaning to the term, 'Love Letters'

A COLUMMST FOR the Arizona Republic used the most public of places to pose the most private of questions: his column to ask his girlfriend to marry him.

David Leibowitz, 33, who pens a thrice-weekly column for Arizona's largest daily newspaper, decided to take the literary license that comes with his particular brand of writing and proposed to Kellee Stooks, 29.The answer was "yes." An early November wedding is planned.

When readers of the Republic flipped through their newspaper on June 6, a Saturday morning, to see who or what Leibowitz was taking to task that day, they were probably surprised to find a kinder, gentler column, filled with personal thoughts and romantic recollections.


The column, headlined "Wanted: Editor, for life" summarized the relationship between Leibowitz and Stooks: (a.k.a. "the blond with all the curls") how she knows just what to say and when to say it, how they met, their first movie. The couple met three years ago.

But if readers were looking for the column to finish with the traditional "... and will you marry me, they missed the forest for the trees. The question, "Marry Me Kellee?" was spelled out alongside most of the paragraphs in the column, using "drop caps" - those BIG letters that begin a paragraph or sentence.

The "drop cap" idea was borrowed from fellow columnist, E.J. Montini, when he used the same technique in a January 1996 column about the 1996 Super Bowl game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. Montini, a native of western Pennsylvania, spelled out "Go Steelers."

Leibowitz, who had been preparing to pop the question, decided that his column would be the best way He wrote the column on Friday, June 5, and wrapped it up by about 6p.m., his usual deadline.

John D'Anna, deputy managing editor at the Republic, said that it was no secret in the newsroom what Leibowitz's colunm would be about that day

"He had talked to me about proposing to Kellee. He had bought the ring. I said to do it in your column and he said he had been thinking about that," said D'Anna. …

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