Area Couple Who’ve Not Been “SEEN” May Sue Times Union

By Scott Salad

Published October 16th, 2016

CLIFTON PARK — Were you seen?

That's a question that’s haunted a local couple for years and now they say they are finally ready to pursue legal action against the local media organization responsible for asking it.

Jan Michael and Marie Flart of Clifton Park have attended hundreds of Capital Region events since 2011, though you wouldn't know it by perusing the Times Union website's popular slideshow feature, “SEEN.”

“We've gone to almost 300 gatherings and we haven't had our picture taken once,” Jan Michael, 45, told the Smudge. “It's like the Times Union is mocking us. How humiliating.”

In the last month alone, the couple has attended a slew of area events hoping to be “SEEN,” including Guilderland High School’s homecoming football game, the Blessing of the Animals at Siena College, Oktoberfest at Wolff's Biergarten, the Girls Inc. Fuel Her Fire Awards and Proctor's 5th Annual Wing Walk.

The self-described “sickly asthmatics” even ran in the Color Me Rad 5K in Saratoga once word spread that a TU photographer would be covering the race.

“We almost died,” Marie, 43, said through gritted teeth. “And for what? So that I could scroll through 350 pictures of random strangers hoping to see myself in the background somewhere?”

TU photographer Gill Fishly insists it’s nothing personal.

“The fact the Flarts have not caught our eye is kind of strange — given the amount of events they say they've attended — but it's not intentional,” said Fishly. “We just look for interesting, well-dressed, clean people to photograph. Perhaps they don't fall into any of those categories.”

The Flart's next door neighbor, Ted Jebbs, agrees that's the most logical explanation.

“My wife says they've been to a couple of our barbeques, but I can't confirm that,” said Jebbs. “I just don't remember seeing them, and they're definitely not in any of the pictures.”

The Flarts — who insist they're “quite charismatic” — say they will continue with the lawsuit if the matter isn't resolved soon.

“Marie and I will be at the Dutch Heritage and Wooden Shoe Festival this weekend,” Jan Michael confirmed. “If we don't see pictures of ourselves on the TU's site Monday morning — preferably donning our homemade clogs — then we will have no choice but to sue for emotional damages.”


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