When the family farm died!

The family farm began disappearing from American life with the great Depression and drought of the 1930s.  Farmers found it impossible to earn a living raising crops and animals, so they began migrating to cities. In the process, the whole of American life changed in so many ways.   Old MacDonald of lore gave up his […]

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The printer’s devil lived a hell of a life!

Gone are the days when young men found their way into newspaper and print shop work as printers’ devils. Their life could be difficult, it could be dangerous, it could stink–and yet young men kept knocking on newspaper and print shop doors looking for a chance to start their careers. Life in the Back Shop […]

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Collecting the strangest things

People collect the damnedest things. Actually, collecting, for the truly devoted, can become an all-consuming occupation. Often it is for some quite an irrational undertaking while for others it is inspired by love for an occupation or hobby or locale. In many cases there is no explanation for why people become collectors. The best they […]

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Women in newspapering

While newspaper work was traditionally a male dominated domain, it was by no means reserved strictly for men, and for women who got into the trade, the work was demanding, dangerous and full of adventure. It was also filled with plain everyday chores which define the life of most tradesmen and women. “Evonne Angello’s experience […]

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The Good Kid Project

Teaching kids tolerance, humility and compassion Rotten kids?  Give them a chance! Sometimes I get discouraged looking around at young kids.  Some seem so different than I was at their age–they look like walking comic strips with their tattoos and barbarous natives from a South Pacific island with pins and rings and who-knows-what jammed into […]

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The original “Reader’s Digest” discovered. Was missing for over three centuries

I just came across a fascinating article which came courtesy of The Guardian newspaper. It reports on the discovery of a marvelous book which may open a world of new information for book lovers and historians alike. How exciting it would be to hold his book in hand, even though it’s contents would be locked […]

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When Pi left a sour taste in a printer’s mouth!

Life in the Back Shop by Robert MacGregor Shaw Among the nightmares that haunted printers during hot-metal days was the specter of the instantaneous destruction of hours of work. Printers called it pieing type. When it happened, it was equally instantly accompanied by a barrage of non-deleted expletives. Bob Shaw remembered pieing stories in his […]

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