Outside, behind the bookstore, on that bench
And read up on my neighbors; feel the wrench,
The tug of time flown by – what’s here, and gone –
What’s new? What’s up? What gives? What’s going on?
Oh yes, sure, I have online subscriptions to the New York Times. And the Washington Post, the LA Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic and The Week.
And I take timid sips of the NY Post and the Daily Mail if I dare a taste of blood. It’s too much already, I know. It’s way too much. But Covid (and Putin) have brought home the necessity of keeping up with breaking international news. And because of hackers and attackers, I keep no social media presence: no Facebook, no Instagram or Tik Tok accounts.
The global news delivered at warp speed
Quicktime refreshed via your twitter feed
The commentary spat from pseudonyms
Out the mouths of robots, hers or hims?
Who knows what’s real, what’s false, I don’t, do you?
I like my news with names, and faces too.
So when I want the real deal, to take the real-feel temperature of the place on this planet that I call home, I read The Lakeville Journal. Another local, Arthur Miller, said, “A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself”. The voices of our community, the echo rumbling through the Litchfield Hills surround, tells me what’s happening on the ground authentically, what people think and feel, viscerally. Rooted in a place I know, from persons who have a real stake in local policy, something honest and actual comes through in the pages of the Journal. Not just the anger, or the outrage or complaint, but the goodness, the decency of people here. When I am away I read it online, but I like the actual paper in my hands. Home is not virtual, and The Lakeville Journal details news of home.
The births, the deaths, the weddings, fests and fairs,
The stuff for sale, the want ads, news of bears (!),
What’s at the movies, who did well at school,
When senior hours are at Hotchkiss pool,
Who served, who sang, whose speed exceeds conditions…
Who gave, who sold, who made the big commissions!
If we lost the paper, so what?
You can, right now, google what time church services are. You can google the score of your high school’s soccer team. You can then google what the dates will be of Fall Fest this year, and then ask google who’s running for School Board and Selectman and then find each candidate’s individual statements and google around or go on Facebook to see who disagrees…
You can then get up after 2 hours of googling and walk into the kitchen and find everything you were searching for all in one place, sitting at the table for ten minutes with the Lakeville Journal. And you will be well served. And you won’t get carpal tunnel.
Because we recognized what the loss of the paper would mean to our community, many people came together to try to save and sustain it. The willing generosity of those who worked to invent a solution, those who gave and continue to give to maintain this sounding board, our town square in oblong pages, our connective tissue, our common space, is thrilling.
My friend Anna Quindlen, a newspaperwoman herself, wrote: “To write the present is to believe in the future.”
I will piggyback onto her wisdom to add: “…and to preserve the past.”
Happy 125th Everybody!