Monday, July 24, 2006

Last Run, First Run

I didn't work the night they pressed the STOP button for the last time. I vaguely regret missing the end of an era, but the week had already been long, and I worked the next night to welcome in the new era.

Workmate Chuck was featured in both stories. That would be Charles Belanger of Prepress, who carried down the last negative from our department.

Chuck in the Pressroom, (we like our Chucks!) along with the rest of the Journeyman Pressworkers, spent their last night running the Goss behemoth that was our press, soon to be a relic of an ancient time. The pressmen will work the new press in Johnson City.

Our Mailroom fellow-employees, headed by my good friend Wendy will likely split, some working in JC, with others remaining and retraining for the new Printer (I guess we should call it) that will put out the inserts and glossies, here in Elmira. It will be relatively tiny, a niftly four-color toy that will fill what used to be the Mail Room.

As you go through the gallery pictures you will see our various bosses and coworkers, some retired and some now Johnson City employees. See how dirty the clothes are in the old pressroom. The new place is super-modern and quite clean. I've visited, but never seen it running.

Funny to think that the building-shaking, bell-ringing, nerve jangling startup is all in the past. Already the air was so much cleaner last night; I didn't need the albuterol inhaler. Not once. I worked the Advertising Graphics department, changing ad sizes over to comply with the new specs. We are used to being very, very busy.

Hope they don't phase us all out now.

We did an awful lot of waiting-around last night.

Little Pond

Update: This is a version of the post I saved in Notepad. Something went wrong with Blogger just as I posted. I've learned to keep Notepad up and running while blogging to save my work outside of Blogger.


Sissy Willis said...

It all started with USA Today. I remember how scandalized people were that a newspaper would lower itself to running color.

Lovely, poignant post. :)

pb said...

USA Today comes under the same Gannett aegis as the Star-Gazette. Most of us workers look a bit down on USA Today as really some sort of cheap magazine, but the fact is that so many people respond to that periodical, we are forced to emulate it.

We can't help but think that the local papers really need to stick to local news. Because, after all, people will go to television and the Internet to get their national and international news now.