All He Could See Was Ears Coming At Him

I worked at the ‘World’s Small­est Dai­ly News­pa­per,’ the Try­on Dai­ly Bul­letin, for 8 years. In fact, I sort of still do; I moon­light there when they need an extra hand, or if some­thing that I put togeth­er breaks, and if I get short on cash and need to pick up a few hours. In oth­er words: I don’t work there, I’m a con­sul­tant.

I have nev­er seen peo­ple have such an attach­ment to a pub­li­ca­tion. Try­on loves the Bul­letin, even when they laugh at it, when they find typos and gig­gle, and that inani­ty of the local bridge scores, or the ele­men­tary school hon­or roll, the pet­ty coun­ty pol­i­tics. But the paper reflects the com­mu­ni­ty, and the read­ers are in on the joke. It’s a town insti­tu­tion. Mere­ly say­ing ‘I work at the Bul­letin’ opened numer­ous con­ver­sa­tions and lent me an air of respon­si­bil­i­ty that I had to grow into. I was hired there when I was 16, and I have a lot to thank that place for.

While I was clean­ing out an old draw­er, I found an old issue from 1995 and I imme­di­ate­ly saw why I kept it. This is my first mem­o­ry of the Bul­letin.

*My fam­i­ly lived on Riv­er Road for a time. Ralph Terciera was a Bermu­dan mil­lion­aire who retired near Try­on. My fam­i­ly would often see him in his mule cart, his cor­pu­lent body (we nick­named him Jab­ba) loung­ing in the back, while a thin, smil­ing gen­tle­man chaf­feured.

The phrase ‘inde­pen­dent media’ is thrown around a lot these days, but the Bul­letin embod­ies that. It’s com­plete­ly inde­pen­dent. The own­er sits in the front office. No cor­po­rate atti­tudes or bud­gets to meet. Nobody los­es their job because some HR per­son 400 miles away didn’t like the num­bers. The writ­ing, cus­tomer ser­vice, pro­duc­tion, and print­ing all are accom­plished on the three floors of the 16 North Trade Build­ing, which is on the Nation­al Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places.

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