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home : columns : rahn larson May 24, 2016

7/29/2014 4:17:00 PM
'Reading the Citizen' is coming!
For weeks - OK, make that months - our readers have been hearing about the elusive "Reading the Citizen" feature.
Several months ago, I ran a column about it. It was hailed as one of our most popular promotions of all time.
I told readers, "the series is making a comeback" and finally - yes, finally - it's here. The first installment is scheduled for Aug. 13 and it will appear on this page, next to the editorial.
Of course this series will be entirely new to many of our readers. After all, "Reading the Citizen" hasn't graced our pages in 16 years.
Here is how it works:
• Get your photo taken in someplace unusual or famous, or with someone famous.
• Make sure someone in the photo is reading the Citizen while the picture is being taken.
• Send us a copy of the photo, or (if you email it) a J-peg.
• Include correct names and spellings of the people in the photo, in the correct order, along with other pertinent information.
• Provide a return address, so we can return the photo, if necessary.
That's all that's to it.
During this promotion's run, we've had photos of people reading the Citizen in front of places like the Eiffel Tower, the Pentagon and some of the most breathtaking settings one could imagine.
Countless celebrities have read the Citizen. I keep scanning the subscription list to see if I can find a Bud Grant, or Tom Hanks on the list. After all, once you've seen the Citizen, how could you not be tempted to subscribe?
Keep in mind this series is designed to be fun. When the first few Reading the Citizen photos appear, you'll see just how much fun we have with it.
For example, we recently came across a "Reading the Citizen" submission that appeared in the Citizen in 1994.
The photo shows Frank and Matt Vock holding the Citizen at the top of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. They had just bicycled Trail Ridge Road, near Estes Park, Colo.
"It was 11,800 feet and it was snowing," Frank said, adding that they had put on every piece of clothing they could find.
Well, I do not recall exactly how the photo caption was written. But if such a photo were to come across my desk these days, I would write:
"It was a freezing cold day on the bicycles for Frank and Matt. Thank the heavens above that the Vocks wisely brought along another fine edition of the Cottonwood County Citizen. Those "red hot stories and photos" warmed them right up."
In recent weeks, our readers have helped us build an inventory for this Reading the Citizen series, enough to get this thing started in a couple of weeks. If this series is to succeed, we need our readers to continue to submit their Reading the Citizen photos and vacation stories.
Next time you pack for vacation, make sure the first thing you throw in the suitcase is a copy of the Citizen. It will not only provide good reading, it may just help make you famous.

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