Above is a photo of the most despicable thief you can imagine. This man has been seen stealing, gasp, newspapers. He was caught on a neighbor’s security camera taking The Arizona Republic off the driveway.
I’m not surprised he looks like an old guy. What millennial reads the print newspaper anymore much less would want to get up early in the morning to steal one? News can be found online with just a few taps on the cell phone. The print version of the paper has become as old fashioned as handwritten letters and the milk man. We didn’t have a milkman, but my friend Chris, her dad was a milkman. That always seemed like a fun job, going from house to house depositing dairy products though I imagine her dad had to get up way early in the morning as do newspaper delivery people. Not much need for milkmen anymore, and in the near future home delivery service of newspapers, too.
A lot of people of my generation don’t bother to subscribe to the newspaper anymore, either. I shudder for the day when the newspaper will come only via the Internet. Every morning when I wake up, after I walk Darla, (who of course is the best and cutest dog on the planet) I eat breakfast and read the newspaper. My day wouldn’t feel right without this much-beloved ritual. I love opening the paper, turning the pages, spreading it out and drinking hot tea.
My father would bring home the Chicago Sun Times every day after work. I would take it into my bedroom and read it from cover to cover. Highlight of my day, as odd as that might sound. Old habits and true loves never fade, and I loved the newspaper. It provided a written window to a bigger world beyond middle-class suburbia.
One of the things I will miss if the print version of the newspapers ceases is receiving clippings from friends. Just recently, my dear 92 year-old friend, Goldie, who lives in Denver, and subscribes to the The Denver Post, sent me this clipping about a historic tavern in Denver being sold to new owners. We both loved going to this tavern which was just down the hill from our neighborhood. I ordered grilled cheese and she had a cheeseburger. The tavern had great pickles. She wrote me a little note on the clipping. “Thought you would like to read this.” And I did. Sure she could have sent me a link, but finding it in the mailbox meant she took extra time for me and that always feels special when our loved ones think of us.
Then, a few days later, my sister sent me this article from The Chicago Tribune. She lives in southern Illinois now, but she still appreciates the news of her former home town north of her. This humorous article about the couple that were on a popular home fix up show, but were now divorcing, made my sister smile and she wanted me to smile, too, at the Chicago columnist’s wit.
Recently, I met a woman and was discussing with her an article I read in The Arizona Republic regarding her tour company. I happened to have the print version of the article with me. She was thrilled to have a version she could hold in her hands and slip into her purse. Several people had read the story, she said, but no one had the print copy. I was happy to give her the article, but also sad that no one had the paper copy. Another sign of the demise of the print version.
My friend, Tracy, often writes letters to the editor of The Arizona Republic. Next time I see her I will give her this clipping of her letter that appeared a few weeks ago. She only gets the paper on Sunday, but I think she goes to her mom’s house and gets the daily newspaper to read.
During journalism school, and during my writing career, I saved all the clips of my work. Now anything I write is online. I’ve kept some of my clips, neatly as you can tell, but I’ve thrown out a lot of articles I’ve written. Why bother keeping so much paper. And yet I love that I had the chance to see my words in black and white and not just on a computer screen. Call me old school. I don’t mind.
This morning as I was crunching on my cereal and flipping the pages of the newspaper I saw an article I want to tear out and send to a friend. I’m grateful I can still do that, and I hope now and then people will send me new’s clippings.
Because it makes me sad to think of that one day there will be an end to my morning paper, I will finish with a picture of my adorable dog Darla. Just to cheer me up and anyone else who might feel sad about one morning not finding the newspaper on the front stoop anymore, not because some old guy stole it, but because it no longer exists.