Saturday, January 1, 2022

Still Life with Robin: We Now Present the Winners of the 2021 Cleveland Park Listies!

The Cleveland Park Listy Award

by Peggy Robin
If we were having an in-person awards show for the Cleveland Park Listies, this is the part where, in each category, a begowned or tuxedoed winner would be called up onstage, would stride across to the microphone, accept a golden statuette, and tearfully thank parents, partners, teachers, kids, agents, God, and anyone else who might have offered a bit of advice or encouragement along the path to glory. But seeing as how we've never had a real-life awards show, no one has ever had to compose an acceptance speech, tearful or otherwise. And that's something to be grateful for!
And now, without further ado (unless you'd like to go back a week  and review the categories and the nominees), the envelopes, please....
In the category of Best Animal Story, the Listy goes to: Bunny Needs Rehoming (Message  #177009  ). Heartwarming or hare-raising? Sue R.'s brief but intriguing post left a lot of people guessing, and the twist to the tale made it hop right over the rest of the field.
In the category of Best Query or ISO, the winner is: ISO Old Mascara Wands (Message  #168161  ). Who knew animal fur and feathers could be cleaned with old mascara wands? Danielle D. did! And she let the listserv audience know that these seemingly useless, old cosmetic implements could be repurposed to do some good in the world. So don't throw your old mascara wands away; there could well be a repeat call for them in 2022 (although there won't be a repeat Listy, if there is!).
The next category, Most Helpful Advice, was the toughest to award. There were three outstanding nominees: 1. How to Help Afghan Refugees; 2. Give Blood or Plasma and Save a Life; and 3. Living in Pandemic Times, Including How to Get Vaxxed and How to Find the Test You Need Before You Travel -- that went way beyond "helpful": People gave advice that unquestionably saved lives. How to choose? Is it more Listy-worthy to guide people toward the vaccinations protecting them from a life-threatening, contagious infection than it is to reach out to the newly-arrived refugees, fleeing persecution and death, welcoming them, reassuring them of human kindness, and providing them with the makings of a new home? Or should the top honor go to number 3: Give Blood or Plasma and Save a Life - recognizing those who helped spread the word about the critical shortage of blood and platelets, and then personally stepped up to donate? The initial message (  #181989  ) about the critical shortage came from T. F., a long-time list member then in the hospital, hoping the urgently needed platelets would soon become available. The thread ended with her grateful update (Message  #182207  ), letting us all know that she had been able to receive transfusions and would soon be going home. Sending her the well wishes of 12,400+ list members, we also award her the Listy!
From the best to the worst -- that is, the category of Worst Lost Mail Story -- there was a clear winner, which is to say, loser (of mail). It was Carol R., whose mail-order prescription medication never made it to her, leaving her to plead with her pharmacist to intervene with her insurance and allow her to pick up the needed medication locally and with coverage of the cost It's enough to make your blood pressure rise -- just what the missing meds were supposed to prevent! (Message #168110  )
Now we come to Best Long Discussion Thread. To be considered in this category, a discussion had to engage at least 4 different list members, go on for at least six messages, and the topic had to be fresh, meaning it could not be something discussed year after year (so: no service-lane debate, no dog-poop complaints, no dueling economic analyses of the cause of empty storefronts on Connecticut Ave). This year the Listy goes to.....the Cicadas! It's a thread that began on April 19 (Message  #173050  ) and ended seven months later on November 24 with Message  #181278   -- and in between included a bit of everything: helpful advice about protecting plants, some entymological education, not one but TWO songs, some trivia, some photography, and a number of interesting personal experiences. Practical, entertaining, educational....what more could you want from a listserv discussion? Oh yes, and if you save some of the tips posted on the Listserv, you can put them to good use in another 17 years!
In the category of Best Photo, the Listy goes to the cutest little mouse that ever graced CP cyberspace. Stephanie posted the photo seen in Message #180250   on October 26, 2021.
And now the Listy everyone has been waiting for -- Post of the Year 2021. It's actually a pair of posts, the first one (Message  #181982  ) from Susan R., with a wild, long-shot request for a Spanish-speaking good Samaritan to give a ride to an immigrant family of three from Beltsville to Philadelphia in time for the one-and-only, crucial immigration interview. Listserv to the rescue! The travel was arranged in time, and people stepped up to help the family with health insurance, and other red tape. You could get choked up reading the follow-up message  #182061  . And so cue the exit music, and we end the 2021 Listies on an emotional high. (But sincerely hoping for less danger and less drama in 2022!)

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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