A former colleague messaged me on Facebook the other day, asking for my address. He’d been cleaning out some papers and had some stuff to send me. Stuff like this:
And stuff like this (not my handwriting, and I don’t know whose, but I have a suspicion):
And stuff like this:
Newspaper people keep amusing files. So does everybody short of actuaries, but ours are best. Were best, anyway.
Once, after I left Ohio, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo sent a young giraffe to the Columbus Zoo. Giraffes are delicate and don’t travel well, and this one was let out of its crate, made a single galloping lap around its new yard and dropped dead. Evidently I sent a postcard:
I was big on postcards for a while. I still have boxes of them. I should get rid of a few. Send me your mailing address at nancy (at) nancynall.com and I’ll send you one. Puns not included. I don’t know how I got so pun-ny in this one, because I’m generally not a pun person. I have no memory of being a pun person. But I guess that’s why we save stuff like this.
Also included, but not reproduced here: Several notes I wrote on the half-sheets that were on every desk, which we used to, duh, send notes to one another, typed on our IBM Selectrics. There’s also an evening-news roundup, which the night staff was required to watch and summarize for the morning crew. I tried to make mine funny, because what’s the point of such boring duty if you can’t be funny. It begins:
good morning, carolyn. it’s (i mean it is) 6:35 p.m. and this is the news.
I never used capital letters back then. The “it is” stuff refers to a high-ranking editor who, furious that his people couldn’t tell the difference between its and it’s, banned the contraction from the newspaper. Which led to some awkwardness in copy and headlines: Happy New Year! It is party time! And so on.
The most interesting part, to me, is that in my on-paper notes, I used perfect manuscript editing marks. I bet you can’t find a journalist under 50 who even knows what they are.
Anyway, thanks to Robin for, at the end of my career, taking me back to its beginning. Life is all about bookends for me, lately. This was a good one.
And I think this will be the last entry before we leave, unless something huge happens. I’ll be posting photos, etc., on my social channels (@nderringer on Insta, @nnall on Twitter). And there’s always a chance I can make something work on our Airbnb wifi and my ailing iPad Mini. But no promises. This is a vacation, after all.
Bon voyage to us, happy first-of-the-fall to you all.