My first job as a journalist was at the Black River Tribune in Ludlow, Vermont in 1976. It has since folded. It was a tiny weekly newspaper with a circulation of 2,500. Needless to say the pay was pretty low. The paper was so small, the few of us who worked there did everything, we wrote stories, sold ads, did the layout (before digital so it involved light tables and glue guns), took the pictures, distributed the papers to the vendors, cleaned the office, and handled complaints. When you work for a small town paper there are a lot complaints, especially when you spell somebody’s name wrong. I worked there about two years.

My next reporting job was for the Times Argus in Barre and its sister paper the Rutland Daily Herald. I worked there for three years, mostly as a reporter but I filled in the dark room when the lead photographer was on vacation or sick. Combined with the Rutland Herald the circulation was around 40,000 or so but we still had the same concern, spell the names right.

I left reporting in 1981 to get a Master’s degree in Special Education and did not return to it until I retired. I’m back now at the Herald and Argus, not as a staff member but as a free-lance correspondent and occasionally essayist. Not a bad thing to do in retirement (that and writing a novel).

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