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It was lying on our back office table when I arrived at work the other day. The large, rectangular box could have been anything: a sleeping transient, a box of moldy doughnuts — this is a …
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It was lying on our back office table when I arrived at work the other day.
The large, rectangular box could have been anything: a sleeping transient, a box of moldy doughnuts — this is a newspaper, after all, and we never know what to expect.
I counted myself lucky that it was neither. And I thought at first it might have been some sort of promotional giveaway or a new phone book — both fairly exciting, to be sure, given these days of fiscal responsibility.
It was broadly addressed to the newspaper. Which meant, more importantly, I could open it.
One serious character flaw to which I admit is a love of opening packages.
While in college I worked for a time in a bookstore, where all I did most days was open packages filled with books. It was like Christmas every day — only that you always knew what you were getting — and you never got to keep your presents without running the risk of being arrested.
I tore at the box in the office with gusto, terribly rending the dirty cardboard and tape and tossing them aside like so many vanquished foes. Inside sat a giant black book with gold lettering on the spine. It read “Clear Creek Courant.”
It was the bound archived edition of the newspaper for 2009.
I sat down, not even bothering to take off my coat, and started flipping through the pages from back to front — the way one does by pinching them together and letting the back pages fall first.
It was like taking a time machine back through 2009.
I watched as the weather got warmer, as politics played out across the county in reverse, and as businesses opened and closed.
I saw all the major local events like knots being unraveled, then tightened again. Joy, tragedy, controversy, hope and new beginnings.
It was quite an experience. I’m sure you remember — after all, you were there. We’ve been through a lot in the last year, and the new one is just getting started.
This column isn’t about reflecting on the past year — after all, that’s long gone, buried in our memories between the thick black covers of history, and already fading like 2008.
Rather, it’s about time traveling. I closed the book and placed it among the other archived editions going back some 30 years.
It’s not a DeLorean or a funky-looking chair with a big clock on it — but we still have a time machine, and the people, places and events of the last 30 years are waiting to be rediscovered.
I’d like to invite anyone who’s interested to drop by our office and take a look. It was definitely worth the trip then — and still is today.
Ian Neligh is the editor of the Courant.
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