Here's the Scoop: May 21, 2008

Mail Supermodel
It’s not often that I get to do a follow-up column, but I think it’s justified in this case. For anyone who may have missed last week’s Scoop (I can e-mail copies to one for $1 each. Pre-paid), let me bring you up to speed. Supermodel Elle McPherson recently spent a day at the Delaware & Ulster Railroad in Arkville for a photo shoot. Despite my vast journalistic experience, I was unable to cover this bit of breaking news. I detailed my efforts in this space.
As it turns out, the column was just the start of something. Big.
I had no clue about this at the time, but it turns out that Elle is a subscriber to the Catskill Mountain News! I’m honored to say that she read last week’s column and found it moderately amusing.
At first I found it a bit difficult to believe that Elle receives the paper each week. A little exploration revealed the truth. Like Eliot Spitzer checking into a hotel room, Elle had subscribed under a false name. It took a bit of digging, but I discovered that the paper going to: “L. Macfearson” is actually going to the supermodel.
Cool.
My people told me that, after reading the Scoop, Elle felt sorry for me. I don’t know if her sympathy was caused by the fact that I have to stalk — I mean diligently pursue for the sake of news coverage — supermodels when they’re in town. Or maybe she was upset that I failed in my mission, despite such valiant efforts.

Surprise mail
Anyhow, a few days after the paper came out, in comes an e-mail from Elle. When I saw the subject line: “I want you to take my picture,” I nearly dismissed it as regular junk mail. But I didn’t and was stunned/pleased to find out that it was from the supermodel!
Like a lot of people, I must admit that my experience getting e-mail from a supermodel is limited. To my imagination.
But, here it was. And she didn’t write in all capital letters. So much for the bimbo tag that is loosely slapped on many beautiful women who make a living wearing really, really tiny bathing suits while posing for magazine cover shoots.
After I recovered from the shock of receiving an e-mail from a supermodel, I got down to the business of figuring out why Elle was writing to me.

Personal note
“Dear Bri” – this was a very good start – the informal address, as if our friendship extended for years. It continued: “I am really sorry that you were unable to conduct your own photo shoot during my recent visit to Arksville.”
Let me stop here, it is pretty common to folks to add an “s” to Arkville and Margaretsville. I was not going to hold this typo against the supermodel. Besides, her own name could easily be spelled “L” or “El” or even “Ele.” One thing I learned last week: Never quibble with a supermodel over spelling.
Anyhow, the e-mail continued with some small talk about how I was cheated in last year’s NY Press Association Better Newspaper Contest and should have again won a prize for column writing. Not only is this woman a supermodel, she is very smart!
After some more personal stuff that I don’t feel comfortable revealing in such a public forum, Elle offered to send me some autographed photos. I was bummed out for a moment — I spent half my childhood tearing pages from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and writing fake “autographs” on them. This would never do.
Anticipating how lame this sounded, Elle went on to write that the next time she does a photo shoot in Arkville (she spelled it properly the second time — I felt even better), that I would be the first to know.
There’s a part of me that has a nagging feeling that the Elle-mail was just something manufactured by the supermodel’s publicity folks. Worse yet, I’m thinking that some computer geek who read my column was clever enough to write this e-mail and make it appear like it came from the supermodel.
Being an optimist, I plan to apologize to Elle for doubting her when she again comes to Arksville for her next photo shoot.