Something old, something new
Not too long ago I had a chance to talk briefly with aspiring young writers from my hometown.
They're high school students who've resurrected a student publication.
They've created a magazine called "The Blue and White," named after a defunct school newspaper. I'm out of touch because I never realized that the school newspaper had folded. I was surprised to learn that it had been out of print for years. For quite some time, the school had no student publication, I was told.
This, to me, is hard to believe.
A school without a newspaper is like a school without a student body.
The school newspaper should be a voice of the students, a reflection of their school days, and a chronicle of the times.
Fortunately, a club adviser, Krystal Schmauch, stepped to the plate and offered to help these young journalists publish a periodical by starting from scratch. Since 2012, they've published several stylish magazines - each edition filled with interesting articles, imaginative page layouts and alluring color photography.
It's easy to see that staff members are approaching their task with maturity. In fact, a few also are members of the Young Writers Group that meets at the new Arts Center in town.
Journalism and writing are making a comeback in my small community.
I'm happy to see their enthusiasm. I'm also happy to see that high school students resurrected the name '"The Blue and White." It brings back memories. I was an editor of the "The Blue and White" many years ago.
Back in those post-covered wagon days, we actually had two school newspapers. The other was a sports-only periodical called "The Blue Raider." It came out every week or two.
If that weren't enough, we had a literary magazine, as well, called "Pactolian Sands," and, of course, a yearbook called "The Sphinx," which dates back nearly 100 years.
I'm not sure what happened to journalism at my alma mater, or what caused some of these publications to disappear. But I'm delighted to see this new burst of energy and renewed interest.
I made sure to wish coach Krystal Schmauch well in nurturing talent at the high school level.
We had a nice talk. It was a day of something old, something new. The magazine is new. And I felt old.
Truth be told, adviser Schmauch is my grand-niece. I'm happy about the family connection. But having a grand-anything makes me feel ancient. Deep inside, I'm way too young to be a great uncle to the adviser of a school magazine.
There obviously has been a chronological error along the way, some kind of mistake in computation. I feel as though I'm in my early 20s. Yet it's been 44 years since I first wrote for "The Blue and White."
And it's been 47 years since I wrote for "Tuscarora Times," my first school newspaper.
Where have the years gone?
I mentioned to a few high schoolers that my first paper was a mimeographed publication.
"What's mimeograph," they asked.
"Well," I said. "Mimeograph was a state-of-the-art way to produce school newspapers back in the days of Beaver Cleaver."
"What's a Beaver Cleaver," they asked.
Instant generation gap.
Something old, something new. Nothing borrowed. But I'm blue.
I'm blue all over. Must be the mimeograph. Hopefully, someone out there knows what I'm talking about.