Readers Write: Reminiscing on newspapering

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We enjoy out trips to Idyllwild and usually spend a few days at the Idyllwild Inn during the summer months to escape the August and September heat down the Hill.

We’ve subscribed to the Town Crier for a couple years or so and enjoy reading it every week. I don’t know much about the people talked about nor the agencies and businesses discussed throughout the paper, but am totally enamored with your small-town newspaper and its quality.

 While I was working on my Bachelor of Arts in education at Arizona State University in the very early ’70s and living in Cave Creek, Arizona, I supported myself by working for the Black Mountain News, a weekly newspaper not dissimilar to your Town Crier. Your column on May 11 discussing how newspaper technology has changed drew me back to when I was in the news business.

Our paper was fully cut-and-paste and I was the keyboarder, typing all the copy into a clunky machine that printed everything in columns that were then cut and pasted onto master boards (so much wax!) along with the display ads ready for the printer.

The weekly drama of putting the paper to bed is a favorite memory and we (the staff of three) were so proud of what we accomplished when the printed papers returned from the printer. Then we addressed (inked … worst part of the week) and distributed the papers to the subscribers and businesses.

I have wonderful memories of working for that small-town newspaper, one of my favorite memories ever. I love community newspapers like the Town Crier and am happy to be a subscriber. You and your staff do a great job.

 Congratulations on your fine newspaper and on the great reporting I see every week. The Town Crier doesn’t walk away from controversy and I admire that, most of all. Please keep up the good work as we need the free, inquisitive and steady press now more than ever.

Rick Smedstad

Rancho Mirage

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