Lathrop photographer’s work earns place in Missouri Blue Book When a friend told Pam Shrewsbury of the statewide photo contest for citizens to enter to appear in the Official Missouri Blue Book, she went through her large collection of photos. She submitted a handful, and Missouri residents voted on them.
Perry to retire from the USPS after 30 years Editors Note: When we first heard of Sandy’s retirement, I emailed her with several questions. She responded with such a wonderful accounting of her years with the USPS and her life in Gower, that I decided to keep it in her words, to share with all our readers. She begins with her first day...NW
I will never forget my first day out on the route. After three days of training I was on my own. The route was over 100 miles a day with maybe 515 boxes to serve. I am embarrassed to tell you that I ended up lost out there and pretty soon Ernie Lorenson, the Postmaster, came looking for me. He didn’t help me so I guess he was just checking to see if I was still alive!
I went home that night and told my husband I would never learn that job. He encouraged me and told me I would be doing it in my sleep before long. Sure enough, he was right. I would dream, or should I say, have nightmares about the mail route. It seemed as though I carried the mail all night long and I woke up so tired.
Lady Mules win Hamilton Tournament Championship: Cordray named Tournament MVP By Ernie Boyd
The Lathrop Lady Mules varsity basketball team competed in the 20th annual Hamilton basketball tournament last week and came away with their first ever championship title in this tournament, while Senior forward Katie Cordray was named the girls tournament MVP after posting two double doubles and one triple double in helping her team win the championship.
The Lady Mules got the tournament underway on Tuesday night January 28 against a very feisty Braymer Lady Bobcats team. Although Braymer was the seventh and last seed, they played the Lady Mules very tough and down to the wire. Early turnovers hurt Lathrop and they found themselves trailing quickly 0-6. Isabel Maddick and Katie Cordray then scored back to back conventional three point plays to tie the score 6-6. Cold shooting led to an 11-11 tie after one quarter. Lathrop picked up the pace in the second quarter and with a strong inside game and were able to take a 29-24 halftime lead.
I had worked in printing and publishing for several years. I started as what they used to call a “paste-up artist.” I was about 19 years old when I knew I wanted to be in “advertising.” I had some college, but not enough to do much with, other than work at a small publishing company and learn how to paste up ads and layout pages. I learned what they used to call “typesetting” on an old Compugraphic Jr., and developed my own typeset galleys of text.
The typesetting machines used long strips of film on a large wheel for each font. As you typed your copy, a single line displayed what characters you were typing. When the line “returned,” there was no going back. The characters you just input were being “shot” onto the chemical-reactive paper, and you didn’t know what you had until you ran it through the dual-chemical developer in the dark room.
My first encounter with desktop publishing came in about 1985-86. (I like to say 1985 because that’s only one year after Apple’s famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial.) My publisher rented time at Moss Copy Center on Johnson Drive in Shawnee Mission, KS on an Apple SE. I learned how to use Pagemaker 1.0 that ran from a floppy disk, and printed my pages out on something called a PostScript printer.
We published digest-sized magazines that ran the playbill for Theatre League’s Broadway shows at the Midland. I also did some programs for Starlight Theatre, which I was most proud of. I created my own 4-color separations with “ruby litho” and took photographs to a shop to have them shoot a screen so they could be printed. It’ a process I can’t even find on Google today.
Fast-forward ten years.
By 1995, Steve Jobs had left Apple; some nerd named Bill Gates took over the PC and software world; and I was home raising three little ones. I had kept up with the Apples and the software. They were on PageMaker 4.0 by now, but I had settled into Lathrop, earned my real estate license, and joined something called the “Lathrop Merchant’s Association.” It was the happening place, and I wanted to help with this wonderful event called the Friendship Festival.
It wasn’t long before I learned there was a concerted effort to bring a newspaper back to Lathrop. The Lathrop Optimist had been shut down just a few years earlier (1990-1992 or something like that), and the pillars of Lathrop felt an overwhelming obligation to see Lathrop once again, have their “own paper.”
Now, I knew the mechanics of how all this computer stuff worked, although we were still about five years away from digital photography. I always enjoyed writing, but beyond the ramblings of a teenager in her journal, the writing at my editing job at the magazine was little more than gathering items for a calendar of events.
Tommy Williams was the champion of this effort to find an established publisher to print a Lathrop newspaper. He, Susie Freece, Jim Plowman, Betty Mae Momyer and Jim Eames reached out to a few small town publishers. The closest we came was the group out of Carrollton. They came to visit Lathrop to see what kind of proposition they could make.
Our business base was small. The promise of a feasible venture for an outside company to come in, hire a staff, and take on the production of a newspaper was bleak.
They left us with a challenge: Commit 1,000 subscribers, and they would do it.
Quickly, the word got out. The Merchant’s Association immediately had over 200 paid subscribers. They would hold the checks and cash them only IF the newspaper became a reality.
After the initial 200 or so, the subscriptions came in more slowly. It did not appear we would get any closer to our goal.
As someone who had worked in the publishing industry, and who loved the town that had become “home,” I was excited about the possibility of having a newspaper office in town. I could see myself sitting in the office, taking birth announcements at the front desk, and being the “spreader of good news.” I could inform people how to get involved, where to go to get help, and what great, amazing things people were doing to make Lathrop a better place to live.
It was the Friendship Festival in 1995, when I thought, “What if people could see a sample of what it would be like to have a newspaper?” “What if people could see that what’s going on their community is worth reading about?”
I asked the Carrollton publishers if we could print a single sheet sample. Their “yes” sent me on a mission that weekend. The Lathrop Swim Club pool had just had an entire renovation… Lathrop had a new superintendent, I interviewed him. Football practice had just started and Lathrop had a new coach, I interviewed him. I took pictures, wrote stories, and came up with fillers, working on a Windows 3 machine at Heritage Real Estate office. It was before the day of email, so I drove to Carrollton with the floppy disk, and returned to pick up the finished product a couple days later.
We set up a booth at the Friendship Festival and handed out our samples. I, along with others, went door-to-door, selling subscriptions with a promise that we would hold their checks until we knew we were going to have a paper.
The effort gathered about another 160 subscriptions. Family members were buying 2-3 subscriptions for their out-of-state relatives, kids away to college, and friends who had long-since moved away.
It was $25.00 for a year. It is still $25.00 for a year.
But alas, November came, a full six months of effort, and it did not look like we were going to reach our goal of 1,000.
I remember the Merchant’s Association meeting when Tommy, who served as our treasurer, and was diligent to do the right thing, said, “Well folks, it looks like we’re just going to have to send the money back.”
“Noooooooo!” I couldn’t accept that! Lathrop wanted a newspaper! I saw the passion in the people who had worked so hard, and trusted us with their money, to see this dream die! I saw the pride in the people and the love for their town. I saw an independent, scrappy community that didn’t want to take anyone’s back seat.
“I can do this,” I said, before I realized the words were coming out of my mouth.
I knew the investment to get it going was just a few thousand dollars to buy a computer and a printer. I had worked with many web printers over the years, and knew that although a short run to meet the needs of the Lathrop population wasn’t going to attract the big guys in the city, Tim Cole from Kearney said that the publisher in Gallatin would run short web press work.
The initial investment was advanced advertising dollars a handful of local businessmen pledged. Bailey Funeral Home, Lathrop Bank, Dr. Tim Barry, Hawn’s Carpet, the Rotary Club, and the Merchant’s Association. And Gerald Snodgrass’ kitchen table at Heritage Real Estate.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I was someday going to be a newspaper publisher and own my own business. A gentleman named Reed Gerber, new to the community, with his lovely wife Lois, came to Lathrop from Rockford, IL to be close to their son and daughter-in-law Jim & Barbara Gerber, helped make that possible. He had a creative streak looking for an outlet, and graciously accepted the position of Assistant Editor.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the wonderful privilege of announcing to the world a new addition to the family. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would find local government so interesting and important.
I have seen young men and women graduate high school and are now in their mid-30s with families of their own. I have seen victorious football teams, and girls basketball teams that made the front page for just for winning their first game…. In two years!
I have had the privilege of knowing outstanding leaders in the business, government, civic service organizations and school communities. I have watched little ones toddle on stage for the Little Mister and Miss contests… only to return years later with their own little ones for the Baby Show. We would have printed birth announcements for those in the graduating class of 2014. I think you could call that a “generation.”
I remember when I got my first “E-mail” account…email@example.com. I remember when dial up was the only thing that connected me to the outside world. And then digital photography… and then portable document formats… and then FTP portals. We began posting our stories and pictures on our website in 1999. There are 15,000 news stories archived online, and over 19,000 photos.
The last ten years, we have had not one, but two newspapers. Lathrop’s paper, and Gower’s paper. We branched out in 2001, expecting Polo, Stewartsville, and Gower to all embrace a local newspaper like Lathrop did.
We have definitely found a home in Gower, thanks to the tireless work and special relationships my Mom has with them. Lathrop and Gower readers each are so incredibly gracious with their expressions of appreciation for the work we have done.
I haven’t always been everywhere at all times. We haven’t always hit the mark with all the who-what-where-when-why’s of the local happenings. But my life has been full… and blessed… and forever changed by these last 18 years. And over the years, I have been humbled and honored by you who have let me know I have touched your lives.
Now, for those of you who are still with me… you can be the first to know, outside a very small circle of friends and family.
It’s time for me to retire. It’s time for me, Mom, and can you believe it? Even Grandma thinks she needs to retire! (At 87, I’ll give her that!)
It’s time for a change in my life. For more than half of my adult life, I’ve been “The Paper Lady.” For most of that, it was my creative outlet… my connection with the community… my purpose.
It’s time to move on, and enjoy my home, my husband, and grow in my career at Cameron Insurance Companies. And a garden. I want a garden.
I was 30 years old when we rolled out the first issue of The Lathrop News. We’ve been able to tell a lot of wonderful stories, and we’ve filled the pages of countless scrapbooks. We’ve been blessed by other business owners who value your readership and patronage. And most importantly, you’ve welcomed us into your homes for these last 18 years.
The story doesn’t need to end here, though. This business, though it won’t get make anyone rich or powerful, can continue. If there is the same passion, the same pride, and the same support out there that was there almost 20 years ago… this could usher in a new generation of “newspaper-dom.”
I believe there is a champion out there…another eager, passionate storyteller out there… who believes in the good a local newspaper can do. Who believes in the important part of a community’s history it can play. I believe there is enough support out there that would welcome a fresh voice into their homes.
I believe the work that has been done over the last 18 years is worth continuing. And taken to the next level. And cherished for another generation to come.
Do you know someone? Are you that someone? You can reach me at my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I may not get my garden in this spring, but I’m not missing the next growing season.