In recent years I have come to appreciate our fax machine more and more with every passing day.

It did for the newspaper industry what the microwave did for kitchens. In fact, I rank it a notch higher than the microwave. I doubt the Mrs. or any other woman would agree, but the fax has become like an additional employee in our newsroom.

For the price of a phone line each month, that’s a good employee.

To set the record straight, however, those three paragraphs were written many, many years ago…..actually decades ago

Today, my outlook has changed dramatically, and I would like to replace “fax” with “computer.” Just to set the record straight, however, I was never a real friend of the office fax machine and there are also times these days when I’m not on speaking terms with my computer.

And I have to honestly admit the microwave has moved up a bit into first place on my list of helpful and enjoyable pieces of equipment.

Looking back a few decades, having a computer at my disposal certainly would have been helpful, however.

Every once in a while I recall what it was like back then. Those were the days when the Claremont Daily Eagle was located on Sullivan Street and if people didn’t bring in their news releases or mail them directly, the information had to be taken over the telephone.

On days when there were several obituary notices, it was a tough job. And it didn’t get any easier as the daily deadline approached and there were still two or three obituary notices to type.

A reporter would take the obituary information over the telephone from a funeral home outside of Claremont and then had to read them back to make sure there were no mistakes made during the process. I disliked that job because you never wanted to make a mistake on any news release, especially an obituary notice.

The computer has proven its worth over the years, especially when dealing with press releases, obituary notices and late-breaking news stories that challenge the daily deadline.

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At times though, there can be too many press releases that may end up in the nearby waste basket. The current Presidential campaign is a perfect example, especially with its large field of candidates.

If you live in Sullivan County it’s probably of little or no interest to know when a particular candidate will be making a stop in Berlin or Nashua, or Portsmouth. At some point it is likely they will all be making stops in Sullivan County or the New London area in Merrimack County if they haven’t already done so.

Who really cares about all the campaign visits any candidate plans to make in Iowa. On a recent Sunday morning a press release arrived from one of those candidates planning to open an office in Spirit Lake, Iowa. The press release stated that candidate will be the first campaign to have an office in that area, adding to the more than a dozen offices the campaign now has across Iowa.

One has to wonder if anyone in Spirit Lake, Iowa, will get excited if this candidate ends up opening an office in Claremont, N.H., and announces that move in a newspaper serving the Spirit Lake area.

For the record, the population of Spirit Lake is listed at 4,967 and it is the County Seat of Dickinson County, Iowa.

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I recently ran into a gentleman who filled me in on a trip he made to Maine with his wife. It all came about because she was in the market for a new bedspread and couldn’t find one Made in America.

“She really believes in purchasing goods Made in America,” he revealed.

They learned of a woolen mill located in Monmouth, Maine, that made bedspreads. On their arrival at Monmouth, located between Augusta and Lewiston in Kennebec County, they went directly to Bates Woolen Mill where they viewed 26 workers, mostly women, making bedspreads. An American Flag was on display at the mill. After purchasing a bedspread, the couple headed for home.

On their return trip back to Washington, N.H., they stopped at LL Bean in Freeport, Maine. The husband purchased a pair of American-made boots at that location along with a pair of socks made in Northfield, Vt., with a message that informed him he was getting Darn Tough Socks, another Made in America product.

When I got home from work Friday afternoon I immediately went to my closet and upon checking found a couple of sweaters that were Made in China and Made in Vietnam.

Thanks to the successful Made in America effort by this Washington couple, I’ll try to be a bit more selective next time I go shopping.

But I’m still going to stick to my new lineup with the microwave at the top of my list. Microwaves bring enjoyment to the entire family.

(1) comment

Sheila G

Newport Postal Service. Our local Postal Service is failing BADLY! It had had issues for nearly 2 years now and they last couple of months they have gotten much worse. I live on Emerald Ridge Road, here in Newport and it began as I said about 2 years ago. At first we would not get mail one day a week, over time it has increased. Last week we got mail late Tuesday Evening and then not again until Saturday. Lack of mail 2 or 3 days a week has become the norm. Over a year ago I went to the post master to complain. He blamed lack of GOOD EMPLOYEES. When I said then he needed to hire good ones, he said that he can't find any! Hard to believe. I was in Management with Marriott Corp in the Washington, DC area for over 20 years. I found that if you could not keep good staff it was only for a handful of reasons, Low Wages, bad scheduling or simply bad Management. I think all of these fall into play with our local post office. Then I guess about 6 months ago I went back to complain because things had gotten worse. I asked to see the Post Master and the gentleman working the desk told me that he was not in right then and would return later. Two days later I went to try again. The woman at the desk told me that he had not been there in a couple of weeks and that she did not think he was going to return. She said he was getting ready to retire and was using up all his leave first! I pointed to the man in the back who had told me he would be back and I said "then he bold faced lied to me!" I was so angry. I receive a check weekly that I very much need. The company that mails it out gets in trouble if I get it late. IF we get mail on Mondays it is always there … no Mail no check. The post office NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND that people need their mail on a timely basis. Monday evening I called the 800-275-8777 number for post office complaints. It referred me to their online complaint site at USPS.gov . I filled out their form and submitted it. It said I would hear from someone the next day. Today is Thursday and STII NO RESPONSE!! We are between a rock and a hard place and I feel like I am being held hostage by the post office. On Facebook on the What's Up In Newport, NH pages there was a LONG THREAD where many different people had posted comments about not getting mail. The Admin for the site has cut off comments, I guess they are getting their mail. I feel that if the post office cannot deliver our mail then they should give us free post office boxes. I am walking impaired but would rather go there to get my mail then not get it at all. Thanks for listening

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