Former Eau Clairian Justin Johnson (talked about in the very first issue of Volume One) proposed to his girlfriend through a complicated rigging of the social media/blogging platform Tumblr – and through one hell of a sweet video (72,700 views and counting). It helps that Johnson is a filmmaker and it helps that he started filming his fiancé Marissa since the first time he met her, but still … this puts a lot of lovestruck dudes to shame. The proposal was basically the social media equivalent of a public proposal at a baseball game via JumboTron, except, you know, way cooler.
Simply googling "Justin and Marissa" produces pages and pages of articles and blog posts on the proposal, ranging from congratulatory odes to hoax theories to jealous rants. Here’s a “behind the scenes” article on how it happened from NewTeeVee.com:
- Justin Johnson, creative services lead at Next New Networks and one of the original writers for College Humor, was sitting at home yesterday with his girlfriend of six years, Marissa Nystrom. It was about 6:30 p.m. EST, their sixth anniversary as a couple, and a quiet night. They were making spaghetti for dinner, Nystrom was checking her Facebook and Tumblr accounts, and Johnson was nervous as hell.
- About a month prior, Johnson had begun working with the team at Tumblr to create a wedding proposal that suited them as a couple — a big, splashy takeover of every Tumblr user’s dashboard, in which he’d pop the question in a post only Nystrom could respond to. That night, Johnson had just used a “secret link” to activate the proposal post, meaning that soon the entire Tumblr universe would be able to see it…except that his first attempt to activate it didn’t work … Read more.
Spoiler: she said yes. Big thanks to Johnson’s brother Jesse (who takes photos for Volume One) for the tip. And big congrats, of course, to the happy couple.
The Porcupine Came Down
Prickly animal belonging to J.M. Charles is shot.
Eau Claire Weekly Telegram November 27th, 1902
For some time J.M. Charles has been the possessor of a porcupine- at least the animal made his abode in the yard adjoining Mr. Charles’ residence on South Farwell street. “Porky” was quite a pet and would go through a number of tricks at Mr. Charles’ command. The little fellow was a familiar sight to the neighbors and passers-by, and it was with curiosity that he was observed, nearly a week ago, to ascend into the higher branches of a tree in the yard, and remain there. Everything possible was done to persuade him to descend; he declined to do so. The tree was so tall and slender, and yesterday believing further effort to be futile, and rather than to allow the animal to starve Mr. Charles secured a rifle and brought him tumbling to the ground. The residents of that portion of the city will know little “Porky” no more, but some secured sharp little quills to remember him.
Chad’s Take- Eau Claire’s Old Yeller
I hate to admit that I had never head of “Porky” before I read this article. How could a story featuring a pet porcupine capable of performing multiple tricks escape me? I guess it just shows that the Chippewa Valley can always surprise you, no matter how many weird stories you have been privy to. However, I suspect that there had to be more to this story than the article included. How else could the neighborhood become so attached to a porcupine that they felt the need to secure some of his lifeless quills as remembrances?
I dug up this article a little over a week ago, and now that I have had some time to sit with it, I can truly say that I wish I never heard of Porky. My reasoning for turning on this article is due to the fact that for the last week my mind has been overloaded with questions about Porky. Usually when I find these stories I write about them and have no trouble moving on to the next article.
Yet this story about Porky the porcupine was different somehow. Instead of simply forgetting about it and moving on, I found myself on numerous occasions throughout the previous week wishing that I had a little more information about Porky. What tricks could he perform? How long did Mr. Charles have him? Where did he come from? Where did he sleep? Was he buried somewhere? Did they have a funeral service? Was a marker placed at his grave? What did the neighbors do with the quills? Now you can see why I do not like this article, because I continue to obsess about these questions nearly two weeks later, which perhaps answers my own question as to how the neighborhood got so attached to Porky in the first place. Damn this article.
Keep an eye out,