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One Man's Ramblings

The early days
Thursday, July 21, 2022
One Man's Ramblings

With this paper’s 52-year run soon to end, obviously I’ve been doing a lot of time reflecting back through its history.

Mom and Dad busted their tails to pull it off from those early issues in 1969. And it wasn’t easy taking care of five kids – one boy and four girls – at the same time. Kellie was the oldest and just entering junior high that fall. The rest of us came in at fifth grade and down from there to our little Tiger, Kari.

Press days for a weekly newspaper have always been super busy, especially in those days when we pasted up pages on large layout sheets, and Dad worked his magic back in the darkroom to provide the photos, then sit at his desk just before pasteup to write his weekly column. Mom set type on one of the latest technological marvels at the time, a bulky blue and gray Compugraphic. The finished product would then be processed on photo paper, trimmed then run through a waxing machine, and finally pasted onto the layout sheet using a t-square for proper alignment. Digital layouts came much, much later.

So obviously there wasn’t much room for distractions on those press days, and us kids were warned of severe consequences should we make an unnecessary call.

Hand it to us five heathens, we had no problem breaking that rule. Little spats would turn into heated shouting matches, and then someone would reach a breaking point and pick up the phone.

A short while later, Mom would sweep into the house like an avenging angel, and make quick work of our current problem. She had this valuable gift of putting things into proper perspective in a short amount of time.

Mostly, I’d say, us 5 K’s would behave ourselves, especially on those hectic press days.

As a family, we went on many work-related trips, mostly to Friday night football games on the road. Our town made an impressive caravan down the highway to games, the headlights strung out for what seemed like miles on the return home.

It was a unique treasure for me to be Dad’s sidekick on the sidelines on those Friday nights. He kept statistics in a steno pad all the time he wasn’t snapping pictures with his big-boxed Yaschika and Honeywell strobe. I would help mark where punts or kickoffs were received, and offer yardage on rushes and receptions plus anything else he thought would help.

This gave me the chance to be in close proximity of the Hawk players, large and muscular and ferocious in intensity. But most of them had a way to make me feel welcome, with a smile or a pat on the back that would make me smile so hard my eyes were slits.

Yes, those were the days.