The Beanstalk


by David N. Townsend


What's this all about?

Well, this is what it is. As a senior in college (Dartmouth '81), I
wrote a weekly column for the school paper called The Beanstalk, which gave me a chance to vent or proselytize or goof as I chose, within the confines of a 500 word essay. I enjoyed it. It was fun and rewarding. (Ask me, and I'll reprint those columns in the archives here.) So, 17 years later, the Internet comes along, the ultimate sympathetic, non-interfering publisher, and I decided to do it again.

Only even more so.

The name? Oh, my friend Steve used to call me The Beanstalk, because I was tall and skinny (I'm still tall, anyway). Somehow the image of a long column of words, climbing up to some intellectual clouds or whatever, fit nicely with the nickname. Then I realized you could transpose it to "the beans talk," and, well, that was just the kind of dual image I needed. (You remember Casey Casem always used to say, "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars"? This is sort of like, "Keep your head in the clouds, but don't forget to fart".)

(Check back here periodically for some updates on what this thing is becoming, how I see it, where it's going and where it's been.)

But most of all, enjoy the columns. Bookmark the main page, and surf in every day, after you check your e-mail and your stock prices and the sports scores. If you really want, I can arrange to e-mail The Beanstalk to you directly, each new column. No charge.

Finally, I'm eager to hear from readers. Always feel free to contact me, via this instantaneous electronic medium, or even by snail mail (17 Lawrence Road, Swampscott, MA 01907). I suppose I can't avoid getting junk and spam in response to this, too, but please restrain yourself if that's your game: I won't respond. I will, however, try to respond to real communication from real people, and if you give permission (or maybe if you don't), I'll reply in the Beanstalk itself.

So, welcome, join the crowd, take a seat over there by the door. We've already started, but there's plenty more to go...

December 1997