Sunday, August 5, 2012

40 Years Ago

Forty years ago I was 24 years old.  I had quit my good paying job as Managing Editor of The Zionsville Times and rolled the dice to print a single sheet so-called newspaper called "The Zionsville Main Street" that sold for "one red cent."  That's right--we charged a penny per copy and, believe it or not, people actually PAID a penny and thanked us for being able to buy something of substance for a penny.

We will be talking a lot over the next few days about those days 40 years ago.  You see, the very first issue appeared on 8/8/72.  Forty years ago today, we were buried in all the esoteric details of starting a newspaper from scratch.  There was no such thing as digital back then.  Heck, photo-offset was still a gleam in rich guys' eyes!

What we did that made us "viable," if you will, was buy a very expensive IBM Selectric electric typewriter that actually typed in PROPORTIONAL letters.  In other words, when you typed something, it looked really good and not like all the stiff, corporate letters that were normally spit out by a regular IBM Selectric machine.  We painstakingly typed out our stories on stiff paper and cut them out with scissors and used old-fashioned glue to paste them to a page.  We took the "page dummies" out to a guy who lived in a corn field and had an ancient, 25-year-old AB Dick press.  He printed them out on 11x17 paper and then we folded those sheets into a four-page paper and  proudly distributed our "newspaper" to all comers for "One Red Cent."

Ah, The Good Old Days.

Well, fast forward to 40 years later and we have spent ALL day trying to make the Salmon Thang better.  If this isn't a Major Deja Vu, then we don't know what is.  We spent at least 8 hours today on the Salmon Thang, all with the same feverish zeal we remember so well from those youthful days of August 1972. Who knew history could repeat itself so well so many decades later?

Mom and Dad are long gone, of course, and with Mom went all traces of those Old Days.  She kept a lot of photo files and bound annual issues.  They all disappeared back in January.  It was tough to see them go but I had no choice. Too bad.  It would have been nice to have some reminders of those days.

At least I have fond memories from that time.  As noted, we will spend some more time doting on those pivotal moments so long ago.  But not too many moments..we have one heck of a lot of digital chores awaiting our attention on that Salmon Thang!

Have a great night & Many Cheers, jp

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