Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Civilian Career: The Tiller and Toiler Newspaper

This photo was posted on Facebook today and that prompted me to write this blog post.

I started working at The Tiller and Toiler in Jun of 1972, shortly after graduating from high school.  I worked there until September of 1979.  At that time, we were located in the new Tiller and Toiler building, at 113-115 West Fifth street, just down the hill from where I lived.

My first official job title there was as a perforator operator.  I worked with Bill Beck, Loretha Huxman and my uncle, Otis Roberts.  My primary job was to punch computer tapes for news copy, which I then took to Bill who ran it through his machine to produce the copy and then my uncle proofread the copy.  I also did page layout, worked in the darkroom with Paul Zook, helped my uncle proofread copy and also helped get the newspaper out.  Pete Daniels was the pressman with Bill Beck assisting him.  Uncle Otis, Loretta and I helped by inserting the advertising inserts into the newspapers as they came off the press, counting them and wrapping them with twine to go to the newspaper carriers.

Me at the perforator machine.
Me doing page layout.

Some of the other positions I held while working at the newspaper was as assistant advertising manager, circulation manager and assistance office manager.  I also wrote several newspaper articles that were published in the paper.  I will share some of these in future blog posts.

When I started at The Tiller and Toiler, Jack Zygmond was the editor and publisher.  His wife, Leslie, was a photographer at the paper.  Also working there were Mrs. Larry LeSage, page make-up and office assistant; Mrs. Jerry Stapleton, circulation; Mrs. Neal McChristy, society reporter; Don W. Foster, advertising manager; Mrs. Virginia Johnson, office manager; Orin Dodez, advertising and photography; Loretha Huxman, perforator operator; William O. Beck, mechanical superintendent; Paul W. Zook, manager of commercial printing; Hilton Gordon, job printing; Otis Roberts, proofs and mail and Vernon "Pete" Daniels, newspaper pressman.  Some of the other's I worked with over the years were Marie Chamberlain, Juanita Skelton and Bob Sallee.  I'm sure that I have forgotten some of the folks I worked with and apologize for not including them here.

The Tiller and Toiler crew in March of 1973.
Don Foster
Loretha Huxman and Bill Beck
Mrs. Jerry Stapleton
Orin Dodez
Pete Daniels and Otis Roberts
Virginia Johnson
Bill Beck and Otis Roberts working the press run.
One of my fondest memories was being able to work with my Uncle Otis.
My uncle, Otis Roberts, wrapping twine around the newspapers.
Another fond memory I have is that Hilton Gordon always brought soup for his lunch and just before lunch he would open up his thermos and let his soup cool.  He would allow me to dip crackers in his soup while it was cooling.  He always had some delicious soup and I always looked forward to him opening up his thermos!!
Hilton Gordon
One of the projects I was instrumental in working on was the publication of the "Panorama of Progress", which was published as a supplement to the newspaper in 1972.
Me and Mrs. Jerry Stapleton looking through the newly published "Panorama of Progress."
Here I am between stacks of the Panorama of Progress.