Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday Morning - A Rocky Mountain Low!

I grew up reading the Washington Post newspaper. As a kid, there was a brief period of time when I would read the Post and the Washington Star. In addition to working full time, my Dad had taken a part time job working for the Star and would get the Sunday Star paper for free. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to hang out with my Dad on Sunday mornings and read the papers. We'd take turns reading the sports pages and the comics. I'm not so sure I was really into the paper so much, I just enjoyed spending the time hanging out with my father. I wasn't really interested in the news per se, it was pretty boring and depressing for a young kid, but I was always eager to get my hands on the TV guide. Remember those things? As a kid, I had my priorities. And I had to get my television line-up for the week dialed in and Sunday morning was the time to do that. I'd scope out the programming for the week and determine if I had to adjust anything in my active social schedule to accommodate the showings. These were the days before TIVO and VCR's. My Dad and I would usually fight over the Washington Post sections. I think it was a game we silently played with each other, one of us finally yielding to the other's demands. Even when the Star came out with a "Mini Page" section just for kids, I'd always want the Post instead. There was just something about it... Clearly, I cherish those memories from that time in my life and over the years, the Washington Post has held a special place in my heart. I've retained a certain loyalty to their brand and I still try to keep up with it online. When I'm in the District, I always grab a copy of the paper. It's nostalgic for me to read it these days and reflect on how it's changed over the years. I also enjoy the update on the city and the growing trends.

On August 7, 1981, after 130 years, the Washington Star ceased publication. In the bankruptcy sale to follow, the Washington Post purchased the land and buildings owned by the Star, including its printing presses. I didn't miss a beat as a result of this story. I remember hearing and reading the stories but I don't remember any emotion attached to learning of this event. By then, I had moved on to a new love affair. Yes, I had picked a new dream girl and her name was "The Rocky Mountain News." After leaving the Washington D.C. area, I grew to like (not love) another - The Rocky Mountain News! It wasn't the Post, but I made the best of it considering this pre-dated online versions of other papers.

I didn't pick the RMN necessarily for the quality of her print or her style but more out of convenience and necessity. You see, I was looking for a dance partner and all of the other ladies were taken or at another party. Besides, the name sounded cool and I was living in the Rockies - thus our affair began.....

My affair with the RMN lasted about 4 years until I moved away from Colorado. After that, like my romance with the Post, I'd usually try to pick up a copy of the Rocky Mountain News whenever my travels took me back through Colorado. Two weeks ago I found myself passing through Denver and habitually looking for a copy of the Rocky Mountain News. I had somehow missed the newsflash: Rocky Mountain News to close, publish final edition Friday

Yep, I missed it by about a week.

Needless to say, it was a long lonely flight home....... I was looking forward to browsing the RMN on my flight back to Los Angeles and catching up with the happenings in the Denver area. As you could guess, I was a bit disappointed. So in an effort to pass the time, I pulled out my Blackberry and composed a few emails. I wrote a few notes to myself and then read the USA Today cover-to-cover. I was Unfulfilled!

I craved something refreshing.

So I comforted myself with a Vodka/Cranberry Juice.

And stared out the window.......

I was lucky enough to have an empty seat beside me. The gentleman in 2C opted to move into an empty seat behind us next to his colleague. That left me alone to drown my sorrow and snap photos out the window without appearing like a juvenile traveler in a cabin full of business men and women.

Oh the Rockies

And the Ski Slopes -

(Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Breckenridge in order)

What wonderful memories I have from Colorado.

And today, that's all that the Rocky Mountain News is to me - A memory!

I couldn't help but remember an observation from a few months back - The Los Angeles Times sure is getting thin. I thought - They've eliminated the real estate section on most days and have reduced it considerably on the remaining days. Few ads and less content. I also remembered a comment on my blog from one of my buddies - Footsteps - She wrote:

They sure have! I wasn't yet old enough to drive in '78 .............................. access to so many news sources (including the LA Times), I hope I won't have to describe newspaper home delivery (along with a world without cell phones, microwave ovens and internet) to my eventual grandchildren...

Perhaps it's inevitable. "Newspaper home delivery may become a thing of the past."

Will it join the likes of 8 - track players, cassette tapes, LP's, Drive-In-movies, and dial telephones?

Speaking of telephones, are pay phones on the way out too? When was the last time you used one? When was the last time you saw someone else use one?

What do you think?

Those were a few of the things I pondered on my two hour flight home from Denver. I drifted a bit, napped for a few minutes, and looked down on the Colorado River, Lake Powell, and parts of the Grand Canyon. Some day I would like to just float along the River with my camera in hand, a cold beverage, ....... And think some more!


Jane Turley said...

Ahhhh...absolutely everything in that post. Sadness, reflection, humour, personal interest, history, geography....

That's what makes this a really interesting blog and a cut above the rest.

Hmmm. I feel inadequate now. I'm going to have a vodka and cranberry juice.

intrepidideas said...

Jane, you are generous and complimentary. Thanks! Enjoy a double vodka/cranberry juice on me! :)

Heather Dugan ("Footsteps") said...

I officially became part of the problem about a month and a half ago when I cut our paper delivery to Sunday only (from daily). There was a little guilt, but I was digging out three and four at a time from under snow and ice in unreadable condition.
I read differently online. With a physical paper, I tend to go cover-to-cover, while online I skip around a bit more and probably miss some things.
The camera/cold drink float sounds like an ideal way to wander through your thoughts!

intrepidideas said...


I get it... It's so much easier now to catch up on the news via another medium. It's hard to justify a subscription and fighting the ice and snow.... I hate wet newspapers.