Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Newspaper

The following is taken from our Wandering America website.  It’s an “Article” that I had written back in June of 2008.  As many of you know, my dad was a newspaper publisher of a weekly paper in Belfast, Maine – The Republican Journal which is Maine’s oldest weekly newspaper.  Therefore, the newspaper was the mainstay of the Patterson family life while growing up in the Pine Tree State and whenever I sit down with one in my hands it conjures up a ton of fond memories.  In the newspaper world, this would be known as “filler”.

THE NEWSPAPER - There's just something nostalgic about sitting back with a cup of java and a newspaper the first thing in the morning catching up on the daily events.  Unfortunately the television and computer have practically stolen this pastime from us. My dad used to go to the "paper box", which was attached next to the front door of the house, and retrieve his copy of the Bangor Daily News before pouring himself a cup of Maxwell House ("good to the last drop") coffee.  Then he would sit at the table and read his paper relating tidbits of news to the rest of us.  "The airport is installing a new transmitting tower" or "I see Doug Jones was arrested again on Monday evening for disorderly conduct" (which meant he was "Drunk in Public" again) or "The A&P has eggs on sale this week".

As kids, the first section we headed for was the comics and later, as we became young adults (and I use that term loosely), we'd grab the sports section.  Dad would say, "How's the Red Sox doing?"  Of course, the reply was always the same, "There's always next year, Dad" (you remember, the curse of the Bambino).  Eventually we would get to the important part of the paper - the Entertainment Section.  During the summer months there would be a fair or a festival going on somewhere in the region.  "You wanna go to the Bluehill Fair this weekend?"  "The Lobster Festival starts next week."

Last, but not least, let us not forget about the television listings.  We got all three channels from Bangor - channel 2 was NBC, channel 5 was CBS, and channel 7 was ABC - from which we could watch all of our favorite westerns in black and white, of course.  Even in the summer time we got plenty of sn*w on the TV as the "reception" was from an antenna which was positioned on the roof in order to get all three channels but none of them exceptionally well.  The daily news always helped line up our evening's entertainment beginning with the Huntley and Brinkley Report.  "Good Night Chet, Good Night David" always signaled the westerns were about to begin.  "The paper says Gunsmoke is on tonight at 8:00."

Two more things that I vividly remember about the newspaper.  One was the smell of the ink.  Even today when I pick up the paper the first thing I do is take a little whiff of the ink.  It doesn't smell the same because the inks used today in "offset" printing are different from those used when the paper was printed from typeset plates but it still has a distinctive odor none the less.  The second was that once you got done reading the paper you had to head for the kitchen sink to wash your hands.  The ends of your fingers would be slightly black from news print, mom would never let us eat our Maypo ("I want my Maypo") with ink stained fingers.

Spending time with the newspaper brings back many fond memories of my childhood and my dad.  Lake George Escape provides a free copy of the daily rag to its guests as well as us workampers.  Several times a week I will venture over to the Lodge to get my 25 cent cup of coffee, pick up my copy of the Post Star, and head for the nearest table.  "Finally, Clinton's going to endorse Obama."  "Did you know that they have a $7 parking pass in Lake George that is good for a week?"  "The Red Sox are on top of Tampa Bay again by a half of game."  "Garfield was cute this morning."  "Big sale at the Price Cutter this week."  "My oatmeal is ready? I'll go wash my hands and be right there."  Yep, the news smells pretty good to me this morning.  Sweet, sweet memories!!!!

Well, there you have it for today – “filler” from the past.  May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

1 comment:

  1. Great "filler"!!!

    I can remember my dad reading the comics to everyone on Sunday mornings and also that smell of the ink.

    Thanks for the memories