There’s only one more day in the Septemeber challenge from Suzanne Gunter McClendon. The Back Where I Come From challenge has been…well…wonderful actually. I know the other participants have had fun answering all those questions about their hometowns, as did I.
Day 29: Does your hometown have a newspaper? Does it come out daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or some other frequency? Does your hometown have its own radio station?
The Springfield Independent opened in 1953 as a weekly local newspaper. It eventually moved up to print several days a week. It closed down around 1988. The paper was a sponsor of our annual yearbook when I was in high school. It would print witty quotes, wedding announcements, basic news, gossip and letters to the Editor in between a LOT of advertising.
I remember writing several scathing letters objecting to the Viet Nam war that were printed. Those letters got me in so much trouble. Back then, anything written up in the local newspaper had to be “positive and highlighting our students’ patriotism” according to my high school’s code of conduct.
I remember after one particularly vehement letter to the editor, our principal took over the morning announcements and a blaring “Suzan Paine will come to the principal’s office immediately!”
My parents were both sitting in the office, Mother looking incredibly angry, and the principal a bright red and clenching his fists. I was lambasted for a good ten minutes about my “disgusting traitorous letter to the editor”.
Dad finally had enough yelling, stood up and hugged me and said “I am proud of you standing up for what you believe is right”, took Mother’s hand and then left the room. The principal said something along the lines of “let that be a lesson” and sent me back to class. Where I promptly wrote another letter to the editor speaking of my right to “free speech”.
That was published too.
Springfield has never had its own radio station. There are so many Washington, DC stations, and Richmond, Virginia stations that it never made fiscal sense to start one in my hometown.