By Lorry Myers
The first thing I ever had published was in the Centralia Fireside Guard. I was the “Scribe” for our local girl scout troop and my job was to write a brief description of our meeting and take it to the newspaper office so the whole town could read about our troop’s activities.
I took my job very seriously.
That first day, I was overwhelmed when I walked into that newspaper office. The phone was ringing and someone was yelling and, in the distance, there was a rumble I didn’t understand. I stood there wide-eyed and speechless until some gruff man stuck his head out of an office and yelled.
A small, gray haired woman suddenly appeared and asked me my business. When I told her, I was the new Troop Scribe, Mrs. Miller grabbed my hand.
“Come on,” she said, dragging me around the counter, “you have to talk to the Editor.”
The editor’s office was empty so I followed her through swinging doors and stopped dead in my tracks. I was just a kid who had never been anywhere and I had never seen anything like this. The place was a beehive of people and the space was filled with giant rolls of paper and giant printing machines and rolling tables with giant stacks of unfolded newspapers. The presses were running, and I could feel the rumble beneath my feet as they spun and spit out paper. There were photos hanging on cords and cartoons pinned to boards and everyone seemed to have a purpose.
What was mine?
Mr. Rolfe, the editor, quickly explained what he expected of a Troop Scribe and when I left that office, I had stars in my eyes. I couldn’t wait until the newspaper came out so I could hold it in my hands and read my own words. Now that I had felt the presses and saw the beating heart of a newspaper, I suddenly felt like I had ownership in it. I saw the ink on the fingers that printed it, and the photos before they were on the front page.
This is my paper.
The Centralia Fireside Guard is the oldest newspaper in Boone County and this weekly paper has printed all my news. Baby poses and game scores and graduation faces. The school play, the school band, cheerleaders on a Friday night. Then came engagement notices, wedding photos and birth announcements.
All the days of my life.
For the complete column, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.