A summer high-school job; a lifetime of memories
News-Times Memories: 1950s
The summer of 1951 and '52, following the end of strawberry picking, my high school friend Barbara Pentico and I got a job at the News-Times, then located on A Street in Forest Grove.
Then, as now, newspapers printed a variety of publications and our job was to put together the local telephone books. The pages were laid out on a long table and you would walk around the table and, page by page, assemble a book (a process referred to as stuffing), putting together one book at a time.
The phone books were then ready to be bound and mailed. The building did not have air conditioning and it was extremely hot; we worked with the doors open to allow a circulation of air. We were paid 55 cents an hour.
Barbara and I continued to work for the News-Times on Wednesday evenings, assembling the weekly paper as it came off the press. The press being an older one, it often broke down and we were sometimes working until 1 a.m. or longer, with a short night of sleep and a school day that morning.
Hugh McGilvra was the owner of the News-Times; Ellis Lucia was the editor. Dean Gautschy, a Pacific University journalism student, was the farm editor; Victor Albro was the back shop foreman and 'Bink' Walker was the press operator. Mr. Albro was a very kind, patient man who taught us a lot. Mr. Walker, on the other hand, was a knowledgeable man with some very colorful language at times.
During our senior year, Barbara and I began operating the teletype machine. You would type the news onto a machine that produced perforated tape, which fed into a typesetting machine which, in turn, made lead pages of text, known as galleys.
If you typed one character extra, the press shot hot lead at the operator (Mr. Walker). We also removed the lead spacers so that the lead print could be melted and used again.
The galleys were put into frames with pictures and then went to the press, located just outside the glassed-in room we worked in, where ink was transferred from the lead galleys to the rolls of paper winding through the press.
Barbara continued to operate the teletype all year and was later employed by the Oregonian. I, on the other hand, found the operation of the type-setting machine to isolating and stressful. Maybe a couple of characters too many was a challenge I didn't need, and Mr. Walker's startled outbursts were enough to alter my career! I did, however, continue the Wednesday night job of assembling the weekly News-Times until graduating from high school.
The memories of those days and evenings spent working part time at the News-Times have been very special ones. I made lifelong friends from that part time job and gained some excellent work skills.
- Joyce (Shorb) Sauber returned to the News-Times in the 1970s to write a weekly column about Gales Creek. She continues to live in Gales Creek and now writes a community column for the Hillsboro Argus.