Newspapers are part of our lives

My mother worked at The Baltimore Sun in the 1950s. As an 8 to 10-year-old, I loved going to “the paper.” The ink smell, the presses and watching the finished papers roll out was magical.

At 16 I found myself at Columbia University in New York City. There was great satisfaction in mastering the subway fold to read the paper on the crowded trains. Such a grown up feeling!

In the 1980s-90s, I was the photographer for the West Virginia State Folk Festival Belles. Late nights in my darkroom to get B&W photos to Steve at The Glenville Democrat for inclusion in the next weekly edition.

After the flood in ’85, I moved to Elkins, opened my part-time business and advertised occasionally in The Inter-Mountain.

The thread of a newspaper weaves in and out of our lives in many ways.

Now, at 72 I read the local paper from a different perspective. I appreciate the attempts to show balance in politics. I follow local news with interest. I chuckle at the auto-correct gaffes. Sometimes, the “optional cut” in mid-story, or even mid-sentence has me ready to tear my hair out! I do the puzzles and read the comics.

The world changes. Globally and in small towns like Elkins. But newspapers are and must remain a constant in our democracy. And I want everyone — journalists, sports reporters, pressmen, stuffers, editors and anyone else connected to having that paper hit my porch six days a week — to do so safely and free from fear of harm.

You may not hear it often or enough, but you are vitally important, needed and appreciated.

And I thank you.

Editor’s Note: The name of this letter writer has been withheld at the author’s request.

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