In our own backyard...What if newspapers went away tomorrow?
When I was a young girl, I started collecting favorite sayings, bits of poetry and lines from favorite songs in sort of a sentimental journal. Midway through my young adulthood, I entered one quotation that said, "Love something as though it may ...
When I was a young girl, I started collecting favorite sayings, bits of poetry and lines from favorite songs in sort of a sentimental journal. Midway through my young adulthood, I entered one quotation that said, "Love something as though it may one day be lost," and posted it next to a photo of a dearly beloved cat who had just gone on to meet his maker.
Somehow, that experience stuck with me, and I constantly try to remind myself of that very fact - though, like most others, I often lapse into a certain sense of complacency when things are going well.
I guess that's probably the way it is with newspapers these days. As much as we all hear and read about the pending demise of print newspapers as we now know them, in deference to the far faster-paced electronic media and online news sites, I have to wonder just how many of us have stopped to think what our world would really be like if newspapers ever went away.....
I had a chance to sample that very thing last weekend, after my subscription to the Duluth News Tribune unexpectedly lapsed over the long holiday weekend due to a credit card changeover. And so, when last Saturday rolled around, there was no daily newspaper in our newspaper tube. We had a houseful of family staying with us for the holiday weekend and at first, it seemed like no big deal. But it didn't take long for us to start missing having the newspaper in our midst.
"Gosh," said my husband, "I wonder what time the women's finals at Wimbledon are supposed to get under way this morning....."
My mom and sister speculated over just what time the coverage of that day's Pro Golf was slated to start that afternoon, and I wondered if the Minnesota Twins were still playing Detroit.
And then, I got to wondering whether a story and photo about the opening of The Beach in Pinehurst by two of our Pine Journal freelancers would make that day's issue of the Duluth paper.
Before I knew it, my mom and sister had hopped in the car and set out for the convenience store/bait shop a couple of miles down the road to buy a newspaper.
It didn't take long the following morning to discover that our newspaper subscription had lapsed for sure because there was no Sunday newspaper in our tube. By the time Ken and I wobbled out of bed, my brother-in-law had already driven to the convenience store/bait station on the corner to pick it up.
Not 15 minutes after we got up, we all found ourselves hunkered around one of the picnic tables on the deck, sipping hot coffee and munching on coffee cake as we enjoyed each other's company - and the newspaper. My mom was perusing the obituaries to see if anyone she knew had died, my sister was reading excerpts out loud from Sam Cook's column, my husband was searching through the sports section to see how Lance Armstrong had fared in the Tour de France, and my brother-in-law was working the crossword puzzle. As I scanned down the list of best-selling novels and new births in the Scrapbook section, I found myself thinking how much all of us would miss having a newspaper to read if it were to simply go away tomorrow.....
Later that day, after all of our company had departed for home, I was changing the kitty litter pan and laying down newspaper from the recycle bin to protect the floor beneath it. As I glanced down, I recognized last week's issue of our Pine Journal, and looking back up at me was my own photo at the top of my weekly column - and I couldn't help but grin.
In so many ways, newspapers are a part of my life, and whether we realize it or not, they're a part of all of ours. If we value them, I truly believe that we must "love them as though they may one day be lost." That's exactly what will keep them around.