From the editor

This old building

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 8:45am

I have sat and worked in three locations/two rooms during my nearly 37 years at the newspaper office here on Townsend Avenue. When I first arrived in 1987, the editorial desks were set up in the front office and in a small room which leads to the upstairs and attic area.  

During a major renovation of the building – organized then by publisher Marylouise Cowan and managing editor Mary Brewer and work done by Bruce White and crew – the reporting staff was relocated for a few months to the Roy Kelley house. Jim Behringer moved his printing press out to a building on Corey Lane and, when all was settled, the middle room became the main hub for the editorial and advertising departments and the downstairs opened for a darkroom run by John Edwards, page layout run by David McKown and Bill Yokum, and production work handled by Lynn Cartwright (now occupied by production’s Steve Edwards). Artist Bill Harris took over the office where I first started – he could close the door if things got too loud in the middle room and front office. Joyce Bell had a room off the middle room where she would type out the copy for layout – man, could that woman type fast and pump out the copy. The renovation also provided us with a stairwell to the basement and the bathroom was moved from upstairs (where arts and entertainment editor Lisa Kristoff now works) to downstairs. 

I moved to a cubicle now occupied by reporter Fritz Freudenberger and have now been at my current cubicle for several years – I moved closer to the window facing Union Street where the air conditioner is set in every summer as this building holds the heat too well. I have sat beside several reporters and current office manager/salesperson Sarah Morley over the years, but no one can move me from my cool spot. There are a couple of empty desks in the middle room for – well, they are gathering dust and air conditioners right now but were once used by reporters.  

Business Manager Pat Schmid has been in her office off the front room for 35 years after she took over for Sydney McLellan. The front room, as well as the middle room, have been decorated with photographs, drawings and several award plaques.  

My mentor, Mary Brewer, got some shelving in her office during the renovation to hold school yearbooks, town reports and other reading material. Her office off the middle room, after she retired in 2012, became the working area for our former leaders, Joe Gelarden and Kipp Wright; it is now occupied by Sarah Morley, Mary’s daughter. Sarah and co-salesperson Kathy Frizzell took over Joyce Bell’s spot many years ago. That office now also holds our router.  

We are slowly getting more facelifts and needed repairs – you may remember a couple of years ago we had new shingling done to our roof and recently had some outdoor steps replaced. One of the big, old trees was taken down off the Kelley house property as limbs were slowly falling.

We are watching one of the other big, old trees right outside my window to monitor its sagging limbs. One thing I do miss is watching Lynn Cartwright load corn onto the wooden squirrel perch that used to adorn that big, old tree outside my window. The perch is now gone after the weather caused its demise. I am hoping I don’t get a limb through my window anytime soon.