Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Silver City Daily Press & Independent

Tonight was our last night of vacation. Tomorrow is a grueling day of long-distance transportation: driving to Tucson, flying to Seattle and then to Fairbanks. So we went down to Silver City and strolled around Bullard again for a while, whiling away an hour or two before we met April and Dad at Jalisco's for dinner. We went a couple of blocks uphill, admiring the bright colors and painted walls, passing a giant red-toenailed blue foot, peering through windows, getting goodies at a great Mexican/Southwest kitsch shop (but only the best quality kitsch!), and ending up at the Silver City Daily Press & Independent, Silver City's local paper.

Unfortunately, they were closed. Fortunately, Ernie the janitor was heading in to fetch something, and we asked if we could visit. So he gave us a brief tour of the print shop: a great green 8-unit NewsKing web press, with the end of the day's run still in the machine, a giant vat of ink, a big old typesetting machine wrapped in a blue tarp (I think he called it a Type-O-Set), the huge rolls of newsprint, the smell of ink in the big was great. He gave us one of the day's old papers, and I promised to send the paper a copy of the Republic.

It's too bad we didn't get there while they were open; it would have been fun to meet the editor or see the machines in action, but alas, we were too late. The paper itself is an interesting little 8-pager, with a certain style to its writing that I enjoyed. The issue we have is volume 108, number 176. Seeing as today is only the 23rd day of the year, they must commence volumes with the date of first issue, or something like that. I would have liked to know something more about its history; a paper's gotta be tough to last 108 years. Here's what they say about themselves on their website:
Seventy years ago, the popular Silver City Independent ceased to exist, yet it survives today in thepages of the Silver City Daily Press. The Silver City Daily Press was born June 25, 1935, when the Independent — our weekly predecessor — determined it was time to grow — along with Grant County, its people and its advertisers.
The paper goes on to describe its various predecessors, from the Mining Life in 1873 to the Silver City Independent in 1896.

Pretty cool.

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