The first high-tech device I ever operated was an IBM… Selectric typewriter, that is. Oh, how well I remember that red typesetting contraption which yours truly learned to use in the 1974-75 school year as Page One editor of THE ISLANDER, mighty Coronado High’s weekly student paper. A pair of said red Selectrics adorned our newspaper composing room which adjoined our journalism classroom. That intimate itty-bitty space was where all the magic happened, elbow-to-elbow (...read, cramped). What joyful chaos! As Page One editor, one of my self-ascribed duties was to become the one and only male typesetter on our illustrious staff, credited in the masthead, to boot! Hot stuff. I learned to justify columns more out of necessity than desire because typesetters weren’t always available when one needed one. So if you want something done now, do it yourself! Besides, I dug the entire old-fangled hands-on process of preparing my page of the paper, readying it to be put to bed before hand-delivering the precious package of pages to the off-site printing company located on the other side of town. Olden daze... As I said, I dug the process: from dummy sheet to page layout, from typesetting to paste-up, using “high-tech” tools such as hot-wax rollers and T-squares, slaving over a hot lighting table, a tedious art at times but always way too much fun, to be sure. If I close my eyes I can still smell the hot wax. And if I listen carefully with thirsty ear, I can nearly hear the heartfelt words of encouragement ringing out from our fearless faculty advisor Dr. Margaret Wright, whose distinctive southern twang was so very endearing and unmistakably her own. You were the best, Mrs. Wright!
FLASH (...hello, Flash): I especially relished preparing for press the front page of our 1975 April Fools’ Day issue wherein yours truly fashioned an ever-so-slight adjustment to our paper’s proud nameplate, changing it from THE ISLANDER to...THE SLANDER. Subtle. Nyuck-nyuck, Curly. Good times, eh Flash? Right-ee-o!
VOL. 113, NO. 1 - Jan. 4, 2023