Woodward and Bernstein and Minnow

In college I wrote for The Spectrum. Back then it was financially independent, and in publishing 3 days a week it was considered among the top echelon of college newspaper dailies.

My nickname there was Minnow.  After the boat in Gilligan’s Island.  I’ll explain that some other time.

Back then we banged our articles out on typewriters, mostly steel manuals as old as our parents and a couple Stonehenge-hulking IBM Selectrics, and yes our fingers got smeared with white-out and sometimes carbon paper, and we would mutter “Shit…” a lot and rip pages out of the platens and ball them up and whip them across the room pissed at our mistakes.

When we finally typed “30” in the middle of the line under the last line and turned them into our editors, our editors marked them in greasy blue pencil and passed them on to a couple girls who had the only – and only vaguely – computerized machines.   Our writing got printed out camera-ready on strips of paper with sticky wax on the back, to literally be held over gridded sheets in columns, cut where it had to be fit,  placed down and pressed, and those sheets driven to our printer by 11 at night, for 7,000 copies to be spit out on rolling presses for the next morning.

Some time in the evening, Dave Czjaka or one of the two Dans who made up “The Bolder Zone” would swing out of an office doorway into the main room.

“Sunset! Sunset!”

We’d all get up from the typewriters we’d staked out or the desks where we’d been organizing our notes – some grumbling, some relieved for the break – and pile into the Editor-in-Chief’s office.

Looking west over Main Street out his second floor Squire Hall office windows, we’d all watch the now bearable yellow sun squatting slowly into the trees and rooftops on the pink horizon.

“Ooooo! Good one!”

“Very nice”

And we’d applaud.

Then, “Okay kids, back to work.”

Really, this is what we did.


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