Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Romancing the stone

Like many newspaper vagabonds, I never really chose I city in which to take up residence. I simply moved from one gig to another when a career opportunity presented itself.

I never chose Ocala, Fla. The Star-Banner chose me. St. Petersburg was really not my kind of town, but the Evening Independent was the coolest afternoon paper on the planet. Atlanta was too big for my country britches, but the Journal was a bustling metropolitan daily that "covered Dixie like the dew.''

It was all about my love affair with newspapers. The cities only got in my way.

That's why I can say with some degree of certainty that I will never live in Tucson, Ariz. That's because the city no longer has a newspaper with which to fall in love. The Tucson Citizen, after 138 years of publishing, has stopped its presses.

It's not getting the attention of swine flu, but the death of daily newspapers is a frightening epidemic all its own. There are no vaccinations. And this will only sound sick if you don't know me, but I keep thinking of the country song "I've Been Everywhere'' and how it won't be long before you can plug in the names of deceased newspapers and have yourself a classic.

I'm not wishing this fate on any of the places mentioned below, but to give you the idea:

I've been to Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika
Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica,
Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport
Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport
Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina
Pasadena, Catalina ...

See what I mean-a?

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