BY CHRIS FAULKNOR, PUBLISHER
It’s been eight years since The Boyne City Gazette came into fruition over beers at a picnic table.
Talks of community journalism, the need for advertising opportunities for businesses, and a consensus that print is not actually dead flew through the air, and the Gazette was born.
Normally, I’d go into a long list of thanks.
But, today, I’m going to recall a few of my favorite memories from these past eight years, and I think you will see why this newspaper is so close to our hearts and so worth the long hours.
My first time out selling, I carried a spiral-bound “mock edition” we had printed at Office Max.
I distinctly remember presenting it at a Boyne City Commission meeting and having a public official walk up to me and ask, “Chris, you’re starting a newspaper? Are you crazy?”
One morning, I experienced my first root canal.
Foolishly, I thought I’d be able to sell advertising with gauze wadded up in the side of my mouth.
Miserable as it was, the business owners were kind and understanding, even if I had to repeat myself a few dozen times.
Another morning, I walked into a local business for lunch.
I noticed that there was a leak in the roof.
While they rushed to plug the leak and assess the situation, I continued picking out a candy bar and my lunch.
I stood at the counter to pay, the owner stood on a ladder to try and assess the leak.
After we both noticed what was going on, the owner looked at me and said, “Seriously? You think I’m worried about your six bucks right now? Go eat your lunch.”
I distinctly remember getting stuck in the snow at least six different times throughout the winters, especially when I used to deliver papers house-to-house.
I also remember just as many people who either pulled me out, found me a tow truck, or even got out to help push.
Flipping through old issues is always a unique experience, because each one has a story in my head somewhere.
It could be the section for Skitoberfest in 2011.
You may see stories and photos, but I remember literally pacing in the office, because I couldn’t get hold of an advertiser to see why their ad didn’t come yet.
I’d call Ben every ten minutes and say, “It’s not here yet, it’s not here yet,” and he’d call back and ask, “Why isn’t it here yet? Why isn’t it here yet?”
Yes, the ad eventually came in.
Other memories could be the plane crash a few years back.
You saw a photo of a plane and probably didn’t think much more of it.
You see, we go to print on Monday at 11 a.m. The crash happened Monday morning, and we weren’t willing to just run it a week late.
I got a text about the crash at around 7:30 a.m. as I recall, and I drove to three different locations to try and find the spot.
I trudged through knee-deep snow and hitched a ride with our now-Sheriff on a snowmobile to get there.
By then, we were mere hours from deadline, so I raced back to the office to work with Ben to get the story together.
Truly, the memories don’t stop.
Every single issue triggers at least one memory, whether it’s where I was sitting when I wrote that column or who walked into the office to say “hello” on the day I took those photos.
These issues have kept coming out all the while I experienced deaths, relationships, breakups, and, most recently, a marriage.
And so, I don’t see an April 9, 2014 issue—I see the issue I was working on when my grandfather passed away.
Likewise, the June 14, 2017 issue will always be known as “the paper we were working on in the midst of me trying to get married.”
The memories go all across the board, and they enrich my life, and flipping through these issues shows me a big newsprint book of where I’ve been.
The great part, though, is that it’s nowhere close to being finished.
We still have hundreds of issues and memories made over time.
I thank each and every one of you for being a part of those memories.
You might be my family, and you might bite your tongue when I’m missing dinner because of a meeting.
You might be my business partner laughing because I called you from that snowdrift at 6 a.m.
Whoever you are, you’re a part of these memories too.
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