Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Pressman's Hat

My sister Caren, has written a good article, about something that has always been dear to my heart. She is an editor for a chain of weekly newspapers in New Jersey, and I have no doubt, she knows How to Run a Newspaper. I can understand her veiled concerns, even before the advent of the Internet; newspapers were on the decline, but that is not all! "We read a lot about the incredible shrinking newspaper, but we see very little about the incredible shrinking newspaper hat". This makes me sad, I remember when the old press mechanic made the first pressman's Hat. for me. I was so proud, that I wore it home to show my folks I would not have traded it for a brand new Stetson! But the times they are a changing.

I suppose my love affair with the printed media must have began back in 1962 when I tried my luck at selling Grit, door to door at age of 10. By 1965, for the love of money, I became a Newspaper boy, for The Columbus Dispatch an afternoon paper. Later I also had to take over my brothers morning paper route, The Columbus Citizen-Journal,. It was not long before my Mom and Dad got recruited into being circulation mangers for the entire village of Jefferson. It seemed like a good deal at the time. But as soon as the first cold Winter hit, over half of our paper boys were a bunch of little pussies, and they began quiting on us. Thank heavens I had my first drivers licence by then. Undaunted Mom had the newspaper fever. She somehow hooked us up with a weekly free paper, called the Spectator, a paper that printed only good news, and lots of advertisements. The Spectator was much smaller than Caren's monster, but they did have a huge two story press that was built in 1932 for the ChicagoTribune It could be the very one you see on youtube! I got lucky, and got a summer job in the Specttator press room, and that is where I learned to make the cap. I can almost smell the acidic fumes from the remelting of the Linotype in the smelter, as well as the odor from those heavy rolls of paper, mixed with the smell of that oily black ink, as I write this. It was hot and sweaty work, but I loved it so!

Two of my dear friends treated me to dinner and a movie this weekend, I was a bit uneasy being out with two wildcats, even tough they were the best of friends with each other, I was very careful to keep my hands to myself. The movie they chose was Nights in Rodanthe. I believe at least one of them think that I favor Richard Gere, the other should know better. I've always considered myself to be much more attractive than Richard, but seeing him do well in life gives me hope for the future, much as the late Paul Newman did with his unique style and,charisma, and I hope to keep all the young girls blushing, as I get ever older. Why settle for less? We should all live our lives to the fullest, and strive always to embrace the world with love, and compassion. In return, you will always be young at heart.

3 comments:

AddledWriter said...

Nice post!!!! ;)

Walt said...

Aw shucks maw, you're embarrasing me! ........ Well, not really, but it is always nice to hear from the editor, down here in the press room. THANKS!

masterwordsmith said...

Indeed AddledWriter is right! I like this post cos of the flow, the content and the motivation :-)>
Thanks, Walt!