Monday, June 24, 2013

Old Newspaper Memories

Newspaper are going. That's not a general statement, it's what's happening in my apartment. Pieces of newspaper that have been hanging around this apartment, and apartments past, for more than a decade are going.

It's hard, however, just to toss them out without relishing the memories they contain. The Sunday Times arts section for March 26, 2000, contains ads for James Joyce's The Dead, a musical I quite liked; Fuddy Meers with the wonderful Mark McKinney; and Taller than a Dwarf with Matthew Broderick and Parker Posey, a play that I never saw and forgot was ever on Broadway.

There's a beautiful full-page ad for the Moon for the Misbegotten revival with Cherry Jones, Gabriel Byrne and Roy Dotrice.

Since my mother is moving this year, I am on a deadline to help her clean out the two-floor apartment (it just isn't fancy enough for the "duplex" label) that my family has lived in since 1966. The accumulated newspapers alone could keep a fire burning for almost that amount of time.

Right now I'm looking thorough the sports section of the May 5, 1983, Morning Call. Lots of scholastic baseball! And softball. I swear the wrap-ups only mention names players who did good things. The winning pitcher. The players who got hits. The ones who scored runs. Interesting style.

And this being 1983, there's phone numbers all over the place in the news briefs instead of e-mail addresses for contact info about things like Nittany Lions golf events (Joe Paterno attending!) and Mr. Lehigh Valley bodybuilding contests.

And what's more, there is room in the newspaper for news briefs about summer basketball and wrestling coaching clinics, with dates and times and daytime and evening phone numbers, beneath a well-written column about canoeing by Outdoors editor Tom Fegely.

There's a Kentucky Derby preview (Sunny's Halo), an article in which Ivan Lendl bitches about John McEnroe's behavior, and a piece about the formation of a local golf association. But I realize that the reason this section was put aside in the first place was the classified section. This was around the time that I was discovering Broadway shows, and the Coming Events section often listed group theater outings. Not much on this Thursday, just Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Richard Harris in Camelot at Valley Forge and Porgy and Bess at Radio City.

I found a special Morning Call wedding section from June 1988. It's amazing how many articles one can come up with on a topic when there's advertising to be sold. There were so many pages because of all the ads that editors were clearly having trouble filling the space. I found two separate articles that were each printed twice, under different headlines. The one about second weddings ended up on page 52 as "Wedding trends broaden to facilitate life in the 80's" and on page 56 with Barbara Mayer's AP byline as "Survey sites [I know!] varied bridal trends." Here it is in another newspaper with a much better headline.