An ode to the old-time news editors

An ode to the old-time news editors
I feel a poem coming on. It happens once or twice a year when the moon is right, and I get tires of writing prose.

Trouble is it takes more time to make it rhyme but suddenly I get the urge to versify if the subject matter deserves special treatment.

Well, this is one of those occasions when I think the time is ripe. People who put out newspapers these days use the latest technology to get the job done. But what if they had to go back to "the good old days" (B.C. – before computers)?


The Old-Timer Editor

The weekly editor's life these days

Has quite a bit of stress;

But what if they went back in time

To print in letterpress?

They'd howl and scream and go on strike

To modernize the job

"No lead for them," they'd quickly say,

They'd raise a lot of hob!

A linotype replaced their Macs.

And nothing was the same.

A stone became their working site.

It was a dirty shame!

The boss just talked of quoins and quads.

(It surely was a bore).

The only thing about it was

The "hell box" on the floor.

The editor was printer, too

He also sold the ads.

He gathered up the stories, and

He knew the commune's fads.

He hand-set all the headlines, and

He swept the office, too.

His hobby was his job, he said

And that was always true.

On press day he was twenty guys;

He met the midnight train.

His customers were country-wide;

Just two who would complain

If their paper didn't come on time,

They'd really raise a fuss.

They were his own subscribers, so

He had to hear them cuss.

He'd fed the aging Babcock press;

Five hundred was his run.

Then off he'd go to make danged sure

That he had beat the Sun.

The Sun was his competitor,

(Each town had two or more.)

They'd fight with words and sometimes guns

To even up the score.

Then he'd return to kill the forms,

To save the type he'd set.

To justify an ad or two.

He wasn't finished yet.

He had to do his bookwork till

His day (or night) was through.

No wonder he's a dinosaur.

He's left a place for you.

If you expect your techy stuff

Is too darned tough to take;

Just think of what the old-time guy

Went through without a break!

  • There, you have had my little verse

    (No Shakespeare is intended)

    It comes to you, just free of charge,

    It's highly recommended.

    © 2008 Robert F. Karolevitz

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>