It was a cold Saturday morning, about 4:00 AM, in November of 1963. I was sitting on a street corner on a bundle of newspapers, reading by the streetlight. President John F. Kennedy has been assassinated the day before. That is my first recollection of the value of the print media.
Those were memorable times for me. I accepted the challenge of my first paper route the third week of November, 1963. I would go to the corner at 24th and Felix to find my paper bundles waiting – I carried 135 customers – a big route in those days of walking with papers strapped in a bag over young shoulders. The assassination of a President started a routine for me – every morning I would open the paper bundle and take the top copy to read before delivering.
The early morning paper bundles were still warm from the hot presses. I would sit on a warm bundle of papers in the cold early morning hours and read by yellowed street lights. That feel and smell has followed me to this day. I like everything about a newspaper. I remember feeling the paper, smelling the paper. I enjoy clever headlines. To the point stories are cherished. Editorial pages flow with the natural rhythm of narrative prose. The ink residue on my hands only means that I had a good morning with my friend the newspaper.
Today I read news stories every day from at least 8 different large metropolitan publishers – all on-line.
There are pros and cons – but I miss the touch of early news.