Finding the ‘Pulse’

Search for name finds 2 wordsmiths choosing the same

Posted: Thursday, June 01, 2006

When the Clarion decided to rename its arts and entertainment section, previously dubbed “InSide,” the idea was to cull ideas from the community taking in the arts we report on.

What says “arts and entertainment” on the peninsula to you? That was one question, of course, but this section is meant to be a further-reaching event and activity guide.

Medieval re-enactments are fair game, as are fighting championships, online gamers and Texas Hold ’Em poker tournaments.

From dozens of submissions, two stood out — practically the same two, as fate would have it, from two different entrants. Nikiski’s Linda Baker almost entered the contest with “Peninsula Pulse,” but chose “Pulse of the Peninsula” instead. Soldotna’s Taylor Medley did submit “Peninsula Pulse,” along with six other options.

In the end, “Pulse” won out, and so did the pair of wordsmiths. The arts and entertainment scene, we felt, definitely represents a community’s heartbeat.

Baker, a Nikiski resident since 1968, is a regular reader of InSide who looks for information on plays, gallery openings, music offerings and video games (“I play everything but the ‘Xbox,’” the mother of three said).

The contest caught her eye because of a lifelong fascination with words.

“That kind of stuff just intrigues me,” she said.

Brainstorming for ideas led her to the name when she thought of the InSide section’s listing of arts and events and tried to fit the concept with a word matching the consonant sounds in the word “peninsula.”

“The pulse is the monitor of the body, so it just seemed to fit,” she said.

For picking the name, Baker won a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant of her choice, which was Froso’s in Soldotna. She intends to take her family there soon for a word-earned night out.

Medley, who submitted “Peninsula Pulse,” read about the contest on the last day submissions were accepted.

The 1999 Soldotna High School graduate and Kent State University alum said she does read the InSide section to find out what the peninsula has to offer, but never noted the name.

In fact, she didn’t know the name of the section at all until she decided to take a crack at renaming it.

“I just sat down and thought about the concept,” Medley said of her quickly created winning entry. “I actually came up with about seven things.”

Medley has opted to dine at The Crossing in Soldotna.

The peninsula’s arts scene and a love of writing had an influence on her decision to enter the contest, she said. Medley lived in New York City for a while and feared upon returning to Soldotna she would find herself with little to do in her hometown.

Her fears were unfounded.

“Ever since I’ve been home, I realize that there’s actually so much to do that I don’t even have time to do it all,” she said.

As far as what she thinks of Baker’s similar idea, she said she likes the thought.

“That’s pretty cool — I like the way she thinks,” Medley said with a laugh.

The news that her entry matched another came as a surprise to Baker.

“I thought that was pretty interesting. I guess great minds think alike,” she said.

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