Monday, March 23, 2009
"time for bookkeeping"
it's that time of year....
hard at work in this painting is my mom...she was doing books for my dad's business, the newspaper.
some of my favorite memories are from hanging around my dad's shop. when i was older i worked there.
my favorite day of the week was wednesday. wednesday was known as press day. the weekly newspaper came out on thursdays. but wednesday was the day everything had to be "put to bed". then the pressmen came in, working physically to get the huge roll of paper hooked up, heavy leaded type in place, ink up the large rollers and to roll the press - the huge - webpress, so that the large-sized, 16 page local newspaper was printed, cut and folded, bundled and sent out through the mail.
what a mighty rolling sound it made. like the ocean. rolling like thunder, (elton john would say).
so many times. it came to a halt and cussing followed. something was wrong. the type was off- register, the cut or the fold was made in the wrong place, or the machine would simply breakdown. to fix it, my dad or the pressman or both would have to go beneath the press ( a cemented hole the size of a swimming pool) and tinker with it until it was fixed. beads of anxious sweat formed on my dad's bald head as he waited, fussed, cussed and shouted directions to the pressman. often the shopboy had to jump in and help too. i was never allowed to go near it. good thing, i would have probably ended up in quarterfolds. but i got to see it happening, the local weekly news put to bed and then proudly coming out the other end of the press, ready to read. it was a happy sight seeing my dad proof read for the last time, as the first few papers came out, then shouting "OK, roll 'em".
i am going to be thinking about this today - devote some time to these memories because they give me such pleasure. sometimes, i can't believe that something so much the fiber of my being, so familiar, only exists now in a memory. it just doesn't seem right. i think it should last forever as real.
i miss my parents.