Monday, June 2, 2014
When I first snagged a job at a major newspaper, I didn't exactly cover a war, a riot, or even describe the deliciousness of an apple tart from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. No, not exactly. Not remotely.
I worked on the fourth floor, and the newsroom was just an elevator ride away. Two degrees of separation, and a world apart.
Still, my job was all about words. I paged delivery agents when Mr. Green's paper got wet or Mrs. Smith's went missing.
This could have proved disheartening had I wanted to be a journalist. But I didn't want to be a journalist. While I'd written for trade and airline magazines, it was never my intention to get emotionally entangled or intimate with facts and truth. Sure, we could spend some nice times together, but we'd prove a difficult match for anything resembling a long-term commitment.
(That's why editors are so great, by the way. My editors have always double-checked my work. Which means I don't stand by my words, I can stand behind the ones who stand by my words. Every editor I've ever had has, when necessary, gone to the mat for me. Courage I've applauded vigorously from the wings.)
But where was I? Oh yeah, this job. Great fun, actually. When not at the pub, me and a bunch of other lit and lib art majors spent most of our time impressing each other with our delivery instructions, sending out pages like:
Throw up on porch;
Wrap it in plastic before you stick it in the box;
Subscriber on vacation so put it in the rear until further notice..
Fortunately, most of the delivery agents had been around since dirt and could translate smart-ass into English and Spanish.
It took awhile to get out the journalism basement, figure out the combination and whatnot. But I did. Or didn't, now that I think about it. Others took up some heavy lifting on my behalf.
I'll miss the paper part of news when it goes away; my guess is that'll happen sooner than we think, newspaper home delivery is practically out the door as we speak. Then lots of up-and-coming lib arts majors will have to find another temporary job that offers equal opportunity entertainment.
If you thought I couldn't take a photo this good, you'd be right. This is courtesy of one of my favorite photographers, Kenny Mac at Greenwich Village Daily Photos. Thanks for the borrow.