Oh the memories. I was looking for my old sketch pad, for I have been commissioned to make another drawing this year for Art Attack so I dug through some old things in a box underneath my bed. And look what I found. How timely.

You see I saved papers. I know it is corny, but I collect all sorts of paper, especially newspapers. I used to be a paperboy for many years. That was my first good money jobs that I started in the sixth grade. I sold the Post-Dispatch year round for about four years on various Saint Louis street corners selling the Sunday three star edition on Saturday night and also the five star final in front of the Catholic Church my family belonged to on Sunday morning. It was great work, and eventually worked up in the game and worked overnights in the distribution at convenience stores, supermarkets and newspaper stands.

So this particular find brings up all sorts of fond memories. It has been interesting looking at them. I remember this vividly at the time. I was just into my freshman year of high school. There are all sorts of things that could be observed about this market crash. I am not sure where to start, or if I even should comment.

After keeping these on my meeting table for a day just to sort of absorb news of this old paper. I glanced at the headlines and looked at the other headlines of the day. The other thing that popped up is that the US shelled an oil platform in the Persian Gulf. That seems odd. I didn’t remember that at all. I guess that stock market crash distracted me at that tender age. That story did remind me of when our country shot down a normal passenger Iranian airliner over the gulf. And then that reminded me of the Korean airliner that was shot down in Soviet airspace.

That was really effed up. But that is all history now. Sad history.

So just a few minutes ago as I was repairing a few things outside after close, I heard something hit the side gate door. I stepped out to see what it was. It was a copy of the Post-Dispatch. The woman who was delivering the paper was returning to her vehicle.
“Sorry. It was just too light to make it over the fence and it hit the door.”
“No worries. Tell them they need to put some more paper in the paper.”

The woman agreed as she stepped back to her delivery minivan.

I picked up the paper and it indeed was light. It made me a little sad. I used to haul these papers and it felt good tossing around bundles. I would read every inch of the papers. I would read the full team baseball stats in the Sunday paper, the editorial page, Ann Landers and Mark Trail. I would read the whole thing.

So I looked at the Post. I am embarrassed to say, but I haven’t been reading the paper. I guess it stopped about three or so years ago but I still get a subscription and also a few other dailies. I have had a subscription to the paper ever since I moved out of my folks house at 18. My apartments used to be littered with the daily paper. I still read magazines, but I don’t read the paper. It makes me rather sad.

But the daily paper is not the same. It feels different. And it looks different. These are superficial, sure, but for certain things I am a sucker for regardless. I like Chevys and shined shoes. I like newspapers that look and feel like newspapers.

The feel is what got me. I was used to heaving bundles of papers. The paper is so much smaller now. Not just in page numbers, but the actual size. I knew there was something wrong, so I put the new paper next to the old Post. I always knew the Post was smaller that the Journal, and it was essentially the same size at the Times, but wow. Look at it now. It is tiny and a former shadow of itself. Sad.

There is so much to learn from both the physical paper as much as there is to learn from the content. The presentation of the stories, the story selection, the presentation of the actual paper, the content of the stories. Perhaps there is more credence to the substantial paper. Perhaps not. Who knows?

I do know that sales of the paper were up during that market crash of 87. I sold out quickly at my news stand. I knew it was hot, so I held on to an extra and I went and bought a Journal and Times for I knew this was the national scope.

I think over the course of the week I will peruse the old Post and the new Post to see what actually makes them different. Hmmm.