Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hi, I'm Al of the Daily News

Did I tell you about the time your Uncle Alfred become a newspaper man?  Well, you know Uncle Al is your Mama's youngest brother 'n he was still to home after all the others done moved on to they own homes.  He was a bright one, though, an' he loved to read and write.  Now that, he taken after his mama, I reckon.  So when he's about twelve,  thirteen, he gets this idee to become a news reporter.  He start nosin' around the community, keepin' open his eyes and ears.  Whenever he hear somethin' or see somethin' he think is newsworthy, he goes and writes it up.

In the dinin' room is this big ol' oak table and smack in the middle of it, your grandma keep this big ol' marble slab, oh, 'bout a foot wide and twicet as long.  Musta weight twenty-five, thirty pound.  So anyways, Al would skootch the slab to the edge the table and use it as a desk for his writin'.  Grampa tole him, "You break that slab, we use it as a headstone for your new dug grave."  Well, it was a heirloom, doncha know.  Fambly tale was that it was one hunnert percent Eye-talian marble and that it come over from Europe with the first of the Harris settlers to this new land.  Hit had been in the fambly for at least seven generations, if nobody had lost count.

Well, Al keep his pencil sharp with his little pen knife, and after while he decide to contact the newspaper about workin' for them.  Now he din't just write off to the editor, neither.  No, sir.  He write the editor personal by name.  It were Everett Grimes over at the Lamar Daily News back then.  Al say he can keep the paper updated on important goin's on around Holly, and he sent along a sample a his work.

Well, ol' Grimes were some pleased with what he read, and he was impressed by the boy's gumption, so he writes back and tells the lad that if he submit a story each week, hit will be considered "on its merits" an' if it is published he will be paid a dollar.


Whut a deal!  Anyways, there was no holdin' the boy back now.  Soon ever'body in that corner the county knowed that Al was a reporter for the News.  An' bout ever' other week, his stuff got run in the paper.  Hit did.  An' that's how your uncle become a newspaper man.

'Course all good things come to an end, so they say.  Al's news career come to an end when he mail in a story to ol' Grimes about a good time had by local residents over to Coolidge.  The story mention a local school marm and  Banker Wills, whose wife, according to the story, was in Denver at the time of the alleged party.  Needless to say, the story did not make the cut at the newspaper, but it did boil Grimes's blood some.  Not only was Banker Wills the president of the bank in Holly, he was a state representative up to Denver, and he held some paper on a property Grimes had over to Springfield.  But that warn't what got Grimes a goin'.  The afore mentioned school marm was sister to Mrs. Grimes.

Well, Everett Grimes were a gentleman, an 'stead of jus' firin' Al outright, he get in his Essex and drive on over to Holly and look the boy up.  He explain to the lad in quite some detail whut newspaperin' is all about, what a reporter's responsibilities are.  How to tell news from, well, you get the idea.  Suggest maybe someday when he graduate school Al might come on over to Lamar and talk to him.

Then Grimes drive on over to the bank.

© 2014 David W. Lacy

4 comments:

Sharkbytes said...

Ah yes, some thing are better left unreported.

vanilla said...

Shark, there was a newspaper in Indianapolis, now defunct, which was notorious for printing scurrilous personal tidbits. On the front page, yet. well, it deserves defunctitude.

Secondary Roads said...

Reckon was there a befunct before there was a defunct? Just askin'.

My Uncle Alfred had the middle name, Amos. (No, there was no Andy in the fambly.)

vanilla said...

Chuck, well, I never thought about that. What would "befunct" denote?
I think this Alfred's middle name was LeRoy. Not that it matters.