Chasing History: Update #2

As I mentioned before in the original Chasing History and Update #1 posts I’ve been trying to track down some photos and other items from the bowling alleys and golf courses my Dad and I once prowled. As it turns out, I will be making a trip back down to Texas soon. This time I’m adjusting the route to allow me to briefly swing by some of the places involved in my search, so I’m hoping to check off a few items on the to-find list soon.

But in addition to this voyage back in time, I’d already been scouring through the archives in an other area. Shortly after landing here in Western Colorado I got in touch with the local library and took advantage of a program that allows one library in one state to mail microfilm to another library in a different state on a temporary loan. This has allowed me to track down the microfilms of the newspapers I worked in back in the before times and – with the help of digital scanners – obtain clear copies of nearly all of the stories I wrote during my career. Sadly, there are missed papers in the scan, but I’d estimate at least 95-98% of the stories will be recovered.

I used to keep the clippings from the actual papers, but unfortunately a neighbor herd of cats got into our garage and into the box I had them all in and decided they’d found the Caesar’s Palace of litter boxes. I can still smell the smell from that day when I opened the box. 

So, I’ve slowly but surely recovered what was lost – for the most part – and am about 75% of the way done with the project. I usually get six reels at a time, although the last batch was nine reels, and it takes me about two-to-three hours to plow through all of them, find the stories, and scan a copy of each. This is another project I hope to have wrapped up by the end of 2022. And it also requires some patience as it usually takes six weeks between new batches of reels. I’m thinking I’m about 48-52 reels away from being done.

The fun thing about this is I can remember most of the games associated with the stories, and the people at the center of the feature stories. A few times I’ll come across something with my byline and I have no memory of covering the event or speaking with the person. But my byline is there so I must have. I’m reminded of many good times, and some not so good, some old friends I’ve drifted away from and a couple of folks I’d just as soon not recall as I’d start regretting not having given them a boot in the backside on the way out the door. The story of “Joey Poodles” in my memoirs is going to be epic, lol.

Once I’ve gathered up everything that can be found – the papers that were not scanned are lost forever as no hard copies were kept by the paper and I’d be shocked if anyone has kept an intact copy all this time – I’m going to organized the scans and create a digital scrapbook, maybe even a power point of them, so I’ll have my entire career saved to one rather large digital file. If I can figure out how to do it, I’ll even post it here for anyone curious to check out my old writing.   

I was able to locate an old photo of the building of one of the papers I worked at, the Turlock Journal. The photo was taken in the 1970s. I’m still trying to find one of the building before the renovated it into a three-building office space. They’d taken down the overhead Turlock Journal sign and put “Turlock Journal” in black letters on the front of the building itself. But for now, this old photo will do.

In the meantime, the chase continues…

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