Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Record's 7,000th issue!

(This column ran in the Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, edition of the Lawrence County Record — it's 7,000th issue!)
I am honored to be a part of this week’s paper. Not only because of this issue’s significance, but also because it gives me an excuse to explain the business and what it means to me.
Even before I was born, this newspaper — this 7,000-issue-old periodical — played an integral role in my future.
It is as much a part of me as the color of my hair or the way I walk or talk. Yes, it is that important.
See, both my parents were newspaper writers as teens. My dad, an Aurora High School graduate, wrote for the Aurora Advertiser and my mom, a Mt. Vernon High School graduate, for The Record.
The newspaper is how they met. And not face-to-face. But over the telephone.
Small-town community newspapers communicate a lot for various reasons and that is how my mom met the “fast-talking” writer from Aurora.
A courtship began. And the rest is newspaper history.
My parents’ lives literally revolve around the production of this paper.
No matter the circumstance, they are still working away — day and night — to get the news out.
Last week’s snowacolypse was no different. They worked through the night to get the paper done early in an attempt to beat the storm. No luck. But, thanks to the Internet, the paper went out on time in cyber space, actually a little early.
During the 2007 ice storm, The Record crew had to relocate to put the paper together.
My dad calls it his dairy farm because no matter what, it has to be tended to.
The life was instilled in me from early on.
Mondays and Tuesdays are/were always hectic. Wednesdays were recoup kind of days, and Thursdays and Fridays were spent in preparation for the next week.
I remember sleeping in the back seat of my parents’ van one night when Mom was out of town while my dad covered a horrible house fire.
There were trips to a fast-food restaurant during a break while running the newspaper route.
Sliding down the person-tall rolls of newsprint.
Looking up to (and bothering) the other newspaper employees, who became (and still are) more like family than anything else.
My family moved to different homes around town, but the office was always the same.
That’s A LOT of news. That’s a lot of work. That’s a heavy heritage. Hard to really wrap your mind around.
I’ve been around for approximately 1,456 issues and counting.
The magnitude of the history of this newspaper makes me feel both comforted and overwhelmed at the same time.
Since its founding way back in 1876, countless hours have been invested to relay information to this county’s citizenry.
In my opinion, this newspaper is one of the things that makes this community unique and it helps to keep alive the spirit of what small-town America is all about.
Here’s to another 7,000!

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