Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


The Wheeling News Register was an old time newspaper complete with a drunken city editor.
The newsroom looked exactly like this picture.

Wooden floors, manual typewriters, telephone headsets with big bulky shoulder rests. Everyone had a large stack of newsprint paper in 8x11 inch sheets. You'd type out your story, and then glue the pages together just like this woman is doing in this picture.

When you were done gluing your story together you'd go over and hand it to the city editor who would read it over for content and then take it over to a big semi circle of copy editors who would slice it and dice it for grammar and style and then glue on a headline. Then it went back to the print shop to join the rest of the stories.

The print shop was actually just next door but ruled with an iron hand by the union. Stories went back there via pneumatic tube. There was a big wide door from the newsroom to the print room BUT there was also a big yellow stripe painted onto the wooden floor. Union rules dictated who could cross that yellow line. Some editors were allowed. All union members were allowed UNLESS they were women. (I'm not sure there were any female union members anyway.) No women at all. None. NO Women were allowed across that yellow line. If one fucked up and did, all work in the print shop halted. I only saw it happen once. A visitor followed an editor back there. It wasn't pretty.

It was quite the place.

I was unleashed and sent out to cover all manner of stuff. There was a group of Hare Krishna people building a new temple. The editor sent me and a photographer out to find out what they were up to. We had to abandon the car and walk about a mile and a half up a muddy road. I mean mud half way up our thighs. But, it turned out to be a cool story and was my first Sunday cover story spread. Totally worth ruining a new pair of shoes.

Like many cities at the time, the newspaper company put out two newspapers - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The News Register was afternoons and Sunday mornings. It's sister paper, the morning paper, offered me a full time job when January ended. The schedule would work around my classes and serve as class credit towards graduation.

I jumped at the opportunity.

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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