Joe Gelarden: back at it: 'Good to smell ink in the air'

Dateline: Sat 18 Apr 2009

Here is some encouraging news from former Indianapolis Star reporter Joe Gelarden, who covered just about everything, working out of the city room for many years. He retired to blissful Maine, but when it comes to newspapers, the cure did not quite take:

"I have flunked retirement," says Joe.

"At 68, I have accepted an offer to become a reporter for a weekly The

Lincoln County News (circulation about 9,000). I am back on the street covering the towns of Damariscotta, New Castle (they are across the river from each other, and the towns of Bristol and South Bristol.

"I am back covering town councils, planning boards, store openings and

of course, cops.

"This week. I wrote about a center honoring this guy's grandmother. Her

name was Frances Perkins - you know - you old liberal lefty lady -

FDR's Secretary of Labor who invented social security, unemployment

insurance and federal anti-child labor laws.

"I also covered a green living expo where the high tech and high ticket systems (and hybrid cars) were upstaged by do it yourself interior

storm windows and a guy who sells coffins for about $500 as way to

finance his cause, in home, do it yourself funerals. He is even

selling a hinged double book case that can also be used as a coffin,

when the time comes.

"I love it and am having a good time. It is good to smell ink in the

air and drink bad composing room coffee again.

"Susan (Joe's bride) just smiles and shakes her head.

"This is a family owned operation where the publisher works on the

presses, sells ads, sits in when the paper is made up and proofed, will answer the phone and is an all around good guy. No corporate

type, no Hugo Boss suit, no BS.

"Interesting enough, he is starting an e-editon this week. The paper

stays in print, but the web site will be for breaking stuff and short

briefs. Subscribers will gain access to an e-edition via a password

system. They will be able to view the entire paper, a page at a time,

including the ads.

"We have a lot of customers who winter down south (after this winter, I can understand that) but they don't get their paper for two weeks or

so after it is published. I invite folks to google up Lincoln County News.

Say hi to all the gang in Hoosierlnd.

Joe Gelarden"

Love it.

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