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GREAT PLACE TO WORK

By Columnist Bob Bridge


Editor’s Note: This column was published several years ago and recently recovered by a loyal reader.


It is certain to resurrect a few memories.



local newspaper


Last week, during a leisurely drive in my Jeep, I drove past the Times-Mail. It was eerily quiet. No vehicles parked on either side of the street.


I was struck with a twinge of nostalgia. Oh, how times have changed.


My first visit to that building came more than 40 years ago. I had finished my studies at IU and was seeking a position that would allow me to stay close to Bloomington, where my girlfriend was a student.


G. Robert Williams and Ray Snapp were running the show back then. Ray, the managing editor, was so engaging. I knew I could work with a guy like this.


He told me they were considering hiring someone from the Herald Telephone in Bloomington, but he would like to think on it for a day or two.


He called me the next morning, and the rest is history.


I was enthusiastic but untrained. There’s only so much a university can teach a guy.


I was part of a great team. Ray was surrounded by Claude Parsons, Norma Hutchinson, Mary Johnson, Jack Young, Mark Mann, Denise Fitzpatrick, Mary Margaret Stipp, Wanda Williams, Gloria Walker, Brian Burton and Jeff Routh.


I quickly ascertained there were more duties for me to perform than simply writing stories. Designing the paper each day was a tedious task. It was 1979, a few years before the TM embraced the computer era. We relied on the folks in the composition department to prepare the paper for the press.


Don Ingle, Harold Bartley and John Freeman patiently tolerated the new kid and became good friends. I can’t remember all the names, but the gals in the back shop were also generous with their time. It was fun to see how a newspaper came together.


Rock Neal, Phil Kern and Ben Neeley became pals as well. They ran the press and made sure the product was clean and pristine. They also took me on adventures that ... well, let’s just say they took me on unforgettable adventures.


Lynden Roberts and Maria Mitchell were newcomers in the circulation department, and they became instant friends.


No one helped me become more familiar with Bedford and the surrounding area than the guys in the advertising department. Frank Taggart’s crew featured Punk Love, Bob Hall, Bruce Montavon and Bob Kruchten. Charlie George and Steve Kopp handled the classifieds.


Paul Kern, Vicki Mitchell and Sue Johnson managed the office, and Jay Yarberry was responsible for keeping everything shipshape.


I’m sure I’ve omitted a few key players. The years have taken a toll on the memory bank.


The T-M turned out to be a treasure for this old boy. So much fun, and a wonderful place to work and make new friends.


Don’t you wish we still had a community newspaper?



Bob Bridge welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or bbbbbridge@gmail.com .

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Matter of fact Bob, I can only think of one incident in Lawrence County the entire time that wasn’t covered thoroughly enough.

The “ catch”.

We don’t need to explain what “ the catch” was.

Or even who made the catch ( Jack Allen)

It was ten times better than the Willie Mays catch off the bat of Dick Wertz.

This catch, off the bat of Needmores Jan Graves was a catch for the ages.

But the right field fence.?

It was made from that orange plastic traffic fencing and gave way if you leaned against it.

But Jacks feet were in the playing area when he leaned back for that spectacular catch.

Is further investigation warranted?


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Definitely Bob.

I can still remember Bill Baker typing out the results of Little Biddy games at the Boys Club and they appearing in your ( our) paper the very next day) and you could always count on the top 20 batting averages from the Little League games over at Central Foundry as young baseball players toughened up their lungs with that nightly smog and toxic, chalky cinder rocks laying about everywhere ha

I’m thankful for all of you. Thank you.

I want to thank Bill Keane who payed special attention to cross country and Jeff Bartlett who wrote so many fabulous, imaginative sports articles.

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