I used to say, when we had a very small newspaper edition, that the folks would have to tie rocks to them in order to get them delivered.
Well, it finally happened. Not with newspapers, but with some kind of flier advertising.
It arrived in a plastic bag on my driveway one morning, along with the real newspapers, and tied inside the plastic bag were three little white rocks. Heavy enough to get that flier where it needed to be.
It was back in the days of the La Marque Times that we used to discuss using rocks. We never did, but things got close a time or two.
Yes, I was an editor. And my boss was the publisher. But sometimes the people he hired to deliver the paper didn’t show up. And we climbed into his pickup and threw papers all across town.
Every week, sometimes with my kids helping out, we rolled all those papers for delivery. And we had to pull out a list of subscribers in order to get all the news where it was supposed to go. I imagine the absent circulation people had the route memorized. But we pretty much stumbled along.
So, I am sympathetic about the folks who get my paper to me every morning, and I appreciate their efforts.
Working on a weekly newspaper sounds like it would be easier than getting out a daily. But it isn’t.
All the news we published was local news. Meetings were covered by us. Football games were covered by us. Pictures were taken by us. One editor. One reporter. One sports reporter. One publisher.
I know I could not do that now, but I would not have missed it for anything. All these pantywaists who have only worked on dailies with wire services supplying news from around the world through high tech computers, who deliver copy all ready to scan onto a page, have sure missed a lot, I think.
Oh, I enjoyed pulling news off the wire and scanning it onto a page as much as the next guy. Popping headlines and pictures into their places on the page on a big fat computer screen.
But I also can remember, and enjoy knowing about, metal type locked onto a wooden frame on a flatbed press, where the sheets of paper were fed across and the news was printed page by page. That was back in college.
Some folks used to say I had ink in my blood.
Messy, but true.