Life at a rural paper....insects on parade (and NO MORE MAIL)

Dateline: Mon 06 Apr 2009

This is from former newsman and blogger Jim Hall:

"When I was working for a small, rural daily newspaper," says Hall. "a woman came into the office with a 25th wedding anniversary announcement and a photo.

"The Family Editor (that's what they called the 1980s) could be seen from a distance shaking her head 'no' and trying to keep from laughing out loud simultaneously.

"The woman left, obviously very angry. Her photo had been rejected.

"Turns out, the woman and her husband were goat farmers. The photo she had submitted for publication for their 25th wedding anniversary included the faces of the happy anniversary couple. And, between them, the face of their favorite goat.

"The woman just couldn't understand why the newspaper would refuse to publish this fine anniversary photo."

I laughingly call this entry "insects on parade," because at the Courier Tribune in Bloomington, Indiana, we once ran a photo of a bunch of insects under the "parade" heading. The photo --- bugs on the march --- was part of a promotion for the county fair.

Animals, even insects, loom large at rural papers.

My personal favorite in the sick humor in print category also is courtesy of the long-gone Bloomington Courier-Trib. It involved a photog who was dispatched to the home of a family whose son had been killed in Vietnam. The photographer carefully, perhaps lovingly, posed dad, mom and siblings at the rural route mailbox by the road.

The caption? "NO MORE MAIL."


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