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Better late than ....

February 6, 2012 - Jim Bartholow
First of all, I want to apologize to anyone who wasted their valuable time looking for updates of my blog when it has been so long since I got a chance to write. I'll try to do better. OK, enough of that.

A brief update: Back in December I did a sleep study, at the insistence of my wife, and I'm glad I did. Turns out I have a problem breathing when I sleep. So, I'll have to use a C-PAP machine which pumps oxygen into my lungs while I sleep. Sounds bizarre, but the followup test I took last Monday with the machine was a very restful experience. Even with a mask covering my nose and mouth. We'll see how it works when I get the machine after seeing a specialist later this month.

I enjoyed reading last week's package in the Times about 1972. It was a big year for me. I graduated from Ohio U. (June 10), started working at the Times (June 12), and got married (Oct. 21). I remember my first week on the job I got to cover a meeting of angry parents at Stanleyville School, which the school administration wanted to close. Later that year, they closed it. All I could do riding out to the meeting was "Where the heck is Stanleyville?" I also got to cover a village council meeting at New Matamoras (another doozy of a drive on Route 7 with what looked to me to be a HUGE river looming next to the road). Let's see, what else did I cover? Oh, yes a county health board meeting (remember lots of talk about subdivisions and aerobic digesters). Fortunately, officials at all of these meetings were kind enough to show me the ropes and be as helpful as they could be.

In the mornings, I covered municipal court's morning sessions, an endless procession of vagrants, drunk drivers, speeders, disorderly characters, and anyone else caught by police doing something illegal the night before. The judge was Robert G. Rawson, a stern, no nonsense man, dedicated to finding the truth and handing out sentences with an uncanny fairness. He commonly gave first offenders suspended sentences that would be invoked if they showed up again. The one exception was the drunk driver who got the standard $200 fine, 30-day license suspension, and 3 days in jail ... no exceptions no matter how many tears were shed by the defendants.

Here again, the judge, who was a former prosecutor, went out of his way to educate me to the ways of courts. The same can be said for Police Chief P.K. Gramkow and Fire Chief Beman G. Biehl. If I made an error in that day's paper, I heard about it right away. But, if I had a question, they would answer it directly.

One more thing about 1972 was my car, a 1964 Plymouth Fury with 140,000 miles on it. It was showing its age. Some days the only way to start it was to use a long screwdriver from the starter to the engine block. I don't why it worked, only that it did. Hey, what did I know, I was just a 22-year-old kid.

Remembering Joe: I miss wonderful Joe Davis, our sportswriter who passed away last month. Joe always had a story to tell. And they always had a punch line. He was a joy to be around.


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