When we were kids, a favorite riddle of ours was "What is black and white and red (read) all over?" Answer: "The newspaper."
The newspaper has been an everyday experience for most of us as we anxiously await the morning edition of our favorite and local news medium. As children, we remember our parents relaxing with a cup of coffee or tea and the Sunday paper draped upon the kitchen table with every section, including the funnies, displayed and digested thoroughly. Some of us, as youngsters, even delivered that neatly folded masterpiece of news.
The paper has been a big part of our very lives as we graduated from minor to adult to senior, while traveling to many cities grasping for the latest sports page and news and maybe the classifieds. We have also seen great historical photos in the newspaper of the sailor kissing the nurse on V-J Day, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, the speeches of Martin Luther King, Neil Armstrong on the moon, and even Woodstock, and most recently the reality and aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Those photos seemed to sink in more than newsreels or TV, because we had time to not only glimpse but study, read, digest and retain those historical events.
The excitement of the big city paperboy barking "Read all about it" was a big part of our history that we can never forget. It was in the late summer of 1962 in Boston as I ascended out of the old MTA onto Park Street and heard the barking of the paper boys revealing the tragic death of movie actress Marilyn Monroe. This, at the time, was a great story as many, including myself, anxiously rushed for The Boston Globe to read that story. We don't hear that once familiar call anymore.
You see, to me it is always a pleasure to hold and read the local newspaper (and most relaxing, too), more so than a trillion sites on the Internet. Some of the great papers have been around for a century or more, constantly fighting all kinds of obstacles along the way, and have still survived.
Printing itself has a very rich history starting with Gutenburg's press in the mid-1400s, printing, of all things, the Bible. It was mass produced and used down through the years in 337 languages. Public schools have used the "good book" as an instrument to simply teach others to read. We can also be reminded of one of our famous statesman, Ben Franklin, who toiled as a printer and writer.
All of us, especially in our senior group, hope that the newspaper will always be "black and white and read all over."