Thursday, September 27, 2007

September Index AND 1952 story that times were good for sugar beet growers

Sept. 27: Times were good for sugar beet growers
Story from 1952 Argus-Observer predicting a record sugar beet crop.

Sept. 24: Regional news -- Halfway Oregon, once, finds a bidder
Account from 2007 Argus-Observer about Halfway Oregon’s successful Ebay auction of the town sign.
1952 Argus-Observer reports state police to move to Snake River Bridge location.
The Argus-Observes ---Public interest will determine the fate of school patrol

Sept. 20: Readers look back ---“Number please?” and how did the Doman twins get away with that car.
1952 story reporting state police promise to study school patrol.
2007 story saying potato harvest will be high in quality, low in quantity.

Sept. 17: The Argus Observes --- Brevity in feminine attire
1952 story reporting two polio deaths
2007 OHS Tiger footballers beat vale

Sept. 13: 1956 OHS classmates remember Ore-Ida start, dancing lessons, “whirlwind” Don Lynch, and Native Indian artifacts.
1952 flying saucer likely was a weather balloon.

Sept. 10: The Argus Observes: On football stirring the blood

Sept: 6: Coach Ken Glore says defense is troubled on his 1952 Tiger football team.

Sept. 3: 1952 student body moving into new high school is record in size.
Local riders win honors at 1952 County Fair.
The Argus Observers --- Don Lynch explains his reasons for starting a personal column.


The Sept. 29, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer reported that a record sugar beet crop was about to be harvested for processing at the sugar plant in Nyssa.

Jared Lewis, district manager of the Amalgamated Sugar Beet Company told the newspaper that yield per acre, total yield and the price of beets were all expected to be the highest in history.

He predicted better than 22 tons per acre average yield, exceeding the year before and the average over the previous five years.

The sugar content of the beets was also testing high.

“It looks like a good year,” Lewis said, noting that his company’s plant would begin processing Oct. 6.

Payette teachers accept 2 percent raise

Payette school teachers and the board of education both signed a mediated agreement this week that gives teachers a 2 percent raise, the Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007 issue of The Argus Observer reported. Andrea Tuttle, president of the Payette Education Association, said the agreement was accepted “reluctantly” by teachers because otherwise they could have received no raise at all. “It was the best they could offer,” Tuttle said.

For more details follow our link to the newspaper’s web pages.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Regional News --- Halfway Oregon, once, finds a bidder

Halfway, Oregon --- more than halfway along the highway 86 from Baker, Oregon to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area --- has sold a sign from it’s recent past for $1,000 on eBay.

The buyer: Josh Kopelman, the man who convinced the town of 350 people to change its name to for year. He won out over 45 other bids.

Kopelman, who founded, could obviously afford the memento. He sold his company to eBay in mid 2000 for some $350 million, according to an Associated Press report published in The Argus Observer on Monday, Sept. 24, 2007.

In exchange for changing its identity to “ Oregon, America’s first city” on Jan. 19, 2000, the town received $100,000 in cash and school computers. And it found itself on NBC’s Today show the day of the changeover.

The town’s two signs from that year lasted well beyond the deal, and beyond the dot com bust, but were finally taken down so that one could be placed in the town museum and the other sold on eBay. According to the Associated Press, Halfway Mayor Gordon Kaesemeyer, allowed that townsfolk “would have been tickled” if the auction had brought in an extra $50 for the town coffers.

For the full Associated Press account, follow our link to the local pages of Monday’s Argus Observer

State Police announce move to Snake River Bridge location

The Sept. 25, 1952 edition of The Argus-Observer quoted State Police Sergeant Wayne Huffman announcing that the local office would move from 4th Avenue SW to the site of the State Line Drive Inn property on Highway 30 near the Snake River Bridge.

Sgt. Huffman said that the move would provide a parking lot for out-of-state trucks to park during nighttime hours to wait for the office to open in the morning. The state Public Utilities Commission office was to move along with the State Police to provide a one-stop location for the trucks, which were required to stop for inspection and then secure permits from the PUC allowing them to proceed into Oregon.

The drive-in property along with a residence across the street was purchased form Derby Smith who told the newspaper he was returning to California.

Huffman said that pending the move five or six big transports on city streets near the 4th Avenue overnight, waiting for the state office to open.

The Argus Observes --- Public interest will determine fate of school patrol

From The Ontario Argus-Observer Sept. 27, 1952 edition

By Don Lynch

The suggestion of … a school safety patrol has been raised by safety committees of various civic and service clubs here on former occasions, but it was always dropped. This time, with the help of a state officer who is an expert at traffic management, it appears that the plan will get serious study….

Although no child enroute to school has been struck by a car so far as I can recall, Ontario does have a dangerous situation in that so many of its grade school youngsters must cross a major highway in order to get to school. Conklin School draws heavily from the area south of Southwest Fourth Avenue. Quite a few Lindbergh students must cross East Idaho Avenue. These streets are main highway approaches into the city.

The school patrol system has been the answer to this problem in scores of cities. A thorough study of such a system here has been in order for at least several years. Sidewalk facilities which would channel children to safe crossings should be studied as one aspect of the plan. In some places, for instance along Southwest Fourth street, and along the south side of Southwest Fourth Avenue, more sidewalks will be needed in order to bring the students to any common crossing place.

Public interest may be a determining factor in reaching a decision on establishing school patrols. Those parents of school children who think such a patrol would be helpful should make their opinion known to school authorities, to the state police and to Parent-Teacher officials

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Readers look back: “Number please?” and how did the Doman twins get away with that car?

Two members of the Ontario High School Class of 1956 have been thinking back on their lives during the 1950s.

Pat Jacobs McCrary notes:

The many changes since the 1950s include “the telephone, for example, going from picking up the receiver and getting an operator on the line asking “number please,” giving her the number and her connecting us to the party we wanted to call.

“Now there are cell phones everywhere. My son one day called me from Hawaii and I head the ocen lapping the beach from my home in Utah.

“The first time I saw a micro wave oven was at a demonstration in Blacker’s department store. At the time I wondered if I would ever have one and now I don’t think I could function without one.

“Miss Root, who taught us high school typing, would marvel at how her typing students have come through the years, now being able to use the computer without the hunt and peck system. These are just a few of the things we have been privileged to experience.”

Verl Doman remembers:

“Earl and I got our first car when we were still 14 years old so we could get home from ball practice. It was a 1937 Plymouth and we paid $25 cash for the full purchase price. Other than the fact that we could see the road through the floor board and that it featured four bald tires, it got us around pretty well. As I recall, it was sort of a novelty with the girls as Jerry (Doman) had a nice ‘49 Ford Victoria Hardtop, but more girls would pile into our clunker than in his hot wheels (in our dreams).

“The thing that amazes me when look back on that experience was that with those bald tires, the car was often left alongside the highway with a flat until we raked up a dollar or two to buy another used baldy and get it going again. The Oregon State Police had an office in Ontario and I cannot now imagine that they were not aware of who owned that car and that we were driving without licenses. I think they must have decided to look the other way, don’t you?”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Verl is almost certainly correct in his assumption. State Police Officer Bones had two sons in high school, Bob a year ahead of us and Dick a year behind. Officer Bones was always watching out for us, at least for me, or so I heard from my father. In the case of Verl and Earl (and no doubt Jerry) Officer Bones was also nurturing the success of the Ontario High School sports program.

State police promise to study need for school crossing patrol

State Police Sergeant Wayne Huffman promised that his department would study the need for a “school patrol” to assist students at dangerous street crossings, particularly those across Fourth Avenue, the Sept. 22, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer reported.

Huffman called street crossing markings on Fourth Avenue “inadequate.”

The safety division of the state police committed by letter to “send a man” to study the situation and talk with interested parties, Harold Reid of the Lions Club told the newspaper.

Reid was named chairman of a Lions Club committee to study the feasibility of the patrol after a city police officer appeared before the club and suggested the school patrol as a possible club project.

Ontario schools Supt. Arthur Kiesz responded that patrol was a good idea “if administrative details could be worked out.”

2007 potato harvest up but down

The fall 2007 potato harvest in Malheur County may be high in quality but represents a decline in quantity from the boom years of the 1970s, Lynne Jensen or the Oregon State University Extension told The Argus Observer.

Jensen said local farmers will harvest about 5,000 acres of potatoes down from 15,000 to 20,000 in the 1970s.

Use our link to check the Sept. 19, 2007 issue of The Ontario Argus Observer for the full story.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Argus Observes -- Brevity in feminine attire

From the Sept. 20, 1954 issue of The Ontario Argus-Observer

By Don Lynch

Brevity in feminine attire has become about as commonplace and unexciting as an old print dress.

The utter indifference often accorded a scantily clad female was brought to my attention last summer by a chance observance.

On one of the warmer days in late summer, I sat in a barber shop getting a shoe shine and watched a junior miss in high cuffed shorts and a scanty shirt wend her way through and past the groups of men that dotted the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.

Her blouse may have been what the women call a halter scarf. At any rate, it wasn’t quite as diverting as the skin tight T shirts sometimes seen this past summer which, unfortunately, seem to appear most often on the fat girls.

This girl was strictly a youngster who looked so young in fact that the average man would feel a little hesitant to note that she was a candidate to be quite a woman.

At first I thought that she might be unaware of the rather obvious display of her charm. But not so. After she had walked the block one way she soon came back the other direction and it was plain that she was conscious of her feminine attractions. At least it was plain from where I sat.

Yet not a single one of a couple dozen men standing on the street gave her a second glance. Most of them didn’t even give her a first glance.

Perhaps if she had been dressed in snug fitting denim waist overalls, she might have rated more attention. She would have looked like a more approachable type to her audience.

The contrast in today’s attitude toward women’s dress and that of a generation ago is well illustrated by an incident I remember from my childhood.

My country-school teacher father sent two of his high school girl students home to get appropriately dressed when they rolled their stockings down below their knees and wore short knee-length skirts in the first of the flapper days.

I don’t think he was shocked but he thought the community would be horrified. So he made the girls cover a little more before he would let them stay in school.

Where will we be in another generation? Will it be bikini suits or less on the girls by then?
I hope not. There are still some things I’d prefer to leave to my imagination.
However, I shall try to ride with the times, adjusting to the trends whatever they may be to keep from being separated from the youthful part of society by the devastating attitude generally accorded to disapproving elders.

Two polio deaths reported

A mother and son from Hines, Oregon, near Burns, died of polio in the Malheur Memorial hospital in Nyssa, the Ontario Argus-Observer reported in its Sept. 18, 1952 edition.

Tony Liebig, who was seven, died the previous Monday night and his mother, Dorothy Liebig, died at 3 a.m. Wednesday. Both suffered from what doctors identified as bulbar type of polio, which attacks the neck and throat.

The deaths made a total of four from polio at the hospital in 1952. Mrs. Pete Lowe of Payette and Judy Kirby of Baker died earlier.

Three new patients thought to be in less critical condition were brought to the hospital over the previous week, bring to 35 the number admitted during the year. This was the largest number treated at the Nyssa facility in any one year although 1952 was the first year patients were brought to the hospital from Baker and Harney counties, where many of the 1952 cases originated.

Tigers beat Vale; police sting inattentive motorists

The 2007 Ontario High School football team traveled to Vale on Friday night to provide some payback to the Vikings for the OHS loss at home last year. Byron Sap passed for 128 yards and Loren Stewart added a 72-yard touchdown run as Ontario won 16-3.

Ontario police handed out 16 tickets to inattentive drivers in a kind of pedestrian sting in school zones and along Southwest Fourth Avenue last Wednesday. A police officer crossed the street in crosswalks in those areas and police ticketed drivers who did not stop as the law requires.

For the full stories take our link to the current on-line edition of the 2007 Argus Observer.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Classmates remember Ore-Ida start, dancing lessons, “whirlwind” Don Lynch and Native American artifacts

Thanks to four OHS class of ‘56 classmates for sharing some great reminiscences of the 1950s and environs in and around Ontario:

--- Roland Whitsell talks about his mother’s ties to The Argus-Observer and the beginnings of Ore-Ida Foods.
--- Shari Smith Schoenleber remembers dancing lessons at our house.
--- Loren Cox recalls Don Lynch as the only person in town not a pastor who wore a tie.
--- And, after some urging, Ray Dickerson tells us briefly about the book he and a friend wrote based on Ray’s youthful years in Warner Valley.
Note: We’ve added a link on our page to Delores Miyamoto Goto’s personal blog, The Goto Company. Go there to read some of her thoughts on life, as well as what is happening with her and husband Sam.

Roland Whitsell writes:

I don't remember the exact year but at about this time Bridgford built a frozen food processing plant in Ontario. Bridgford didn't make it. The plant was purchased by Grigg Brothers and Butler. (I believe that Delma [Delma Grigg Saunders] was the daughter of one of them.) They were trying to develop a successful frozen potato product.

My mother wrote for the Argus at that time and was on the taste panel for their potato products.

They were eventually successful and Or-Ida Tater Tots became one of the first if not the first successful frozen potato product sold in grocery stores.

Bridgford froze peas and sweet corn and may have sold some other items as well. I don't know what products were being developed when the firm was bought out. We raised peas for them for several years and sweet corn once or twice.

My mother wrote a neighborhood news item. She wrote the local news for Lincoln Heights for a good many years. We got our paper free in exchange for her writing the local news.

My mother belonged to a women's club called "The Patch and Chat Club". The entire club would go in and evaluate the new developments in the frozen food attempts. It was a big social event for them and having twenty or so farm ladies who did their own cooking evaluating your products was positive for everyone.

Shari Smith Schoenleber writes:

I remember (the Lynch) house in Ontario and the basement where a group of us learned to dance! I may have mentioned this to you at the reunion last year. It was around the time that you're focusing on. Your mom (Agnes Lynch) got us all set up with a partner. Music was 45's on a phonograph and we all "danced" moving two steps forward and one back in a circle around the room!

Your mom had made sure that the boys put their right arm around the girls waist and the girls put their left arm on the boys shoulder! As I recall that was MY introduction to dancing before we entered high school. I'm trying to remember the town kids who were there, Dick Beem, Kenny Osborn, Sue (Hills) Manion....probably a dozen in all. Must have been a highlight to me!
I remember Ontario with many more trees growing around the downtown area. If I were living there now, I'd be on a community tree planting campaign!

Loren Cox writes:

My memories are spotty and dim, but I do remember your father (Don Lynch), who seemed to me at the time to be a powerful and enormously energetic guy. He may have been the first (non-farmer) person I recall who seemed to be in perpetual motion--a revelation to a before-dawn to after-dark chores life. He must have been a powerful influence on life in Ontario, lifting eyes beyond Malheur County while covering news there with wit, compassion and intelligence.

Sports loomed large there, perhaps disproportionately, in part because of our relative isolation, and in part because it was a bonding mechanism for the farm and non-farm student population.

I think your father understood that. I also remember him as the only person not a pastor who wore a tie, at least a couple of times when I saw him.

My work with MIT still continues--I have been to Europe seven times already this year, three more planned and possibly a trip to China squeezed in before the year is out. I plan to work through next year at least, and likely longer than that.This rumination does recall Ed Aspitarte as JV coach, and other such glimmers. As time and recollection permit, I will try again.

Ray Dickerson writes:

My book is maybe one-half about me and my experience living in Warner Valley, Oregon, during the summers of 1949 thru 1954, and one-half about the Indian Artifacts I collected in Warner Valley. I co-authored the book with Dr. Tyler, a neighbor and friend of mine who was born here in Ontario about 80 years ago and has written a number of books. My half of the book is only twenty some pages.

Dr. Tyler had an Indian skull I had found carbon dated and wrote his half describing the skull and his contrary view of how America might have been populated. We only had a couple hundred copies printed and they mostly sold out on Amazon.

I am out of town starting tomorrow for a week and then will be back for a week and then gone again. Inge and I are playing Bridge in some regional tournaments. It is our way of getting away from our land lording duties and responsibilities for short periods of time.

It was indeed a weather balloon, CAA official says

L. L. Sevlha, manager of what was identified as the CAA weather station, apparently the federal weather bureau, said he was certain the object seen by Cliff Drinkwine and his wife on the previous Friday was a weather balloon.

Sevlha told The Argus-Observer for its Sept. 11 edition that his station released a weather balloon that was two feet by two and a half feet at about 8:50 a.m. on that Friday, and that it drifted in the direction of Payette, near where the Drinkwines spotted their flying object at about 9:30.

Sevlha said the balloon responds to air currents in much the way the Drinkwines reported that the object had moved.

Sevlha added that his organization is authorized to receive reports of flying saucer type objects and pass those reports along to the military.

State to inspect city construction

The Sept. 12, 2007 issue of The Ontario Argus Observer reports that representatives of the state Building Codes Inspection Division plan to “revisit” Ontario to “assess the safety” of some new commercial construction in the city. The report says the state is taking the action because the city failed to complete a “significant piece of state-mandated plans inspections.”

Note: Take our link to the current newspaper web site for the full story. Readers may need to use the archives and a key word search to access the story after a later issue is posted.

Monday, September 10, 2007

In 2007 Weiser beats Vale and Ontario pounds Middleton

The September 10, 2007 weekend edition of The Argus Observer reported that in Friday night football, Vale fell at home to Weiser 13-3 and the Ontario High Tigers pounded Middleton 47-6 in Ontario.

Next week it's Vale versus Ontario at Vale.

Follow our link to the current Argus-Observer web site to read these stories in full.

Flying Saucer or weather balloon?

The Sept. 8, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer reported the area’s “first close-up eye witness report of a ‘flying saucer’ incident" occurred the previous Saturday.

Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Drinkwine said that about 9:50 a.m. they saw what could be a weather balloon but seemed to be under some kind of control when it moved away quickly.

The flying object sat down on the Drinkwine property a half mile south of Payette and a quarter of a mile east of U.S. Highway 30.

The Drinkwines said the object was about five feet in diameter and looked like it was made of rubber rather than metal. At first, they assumed it was a weather balloon but “decided it was something other than a weather balloon when it appeared to be controlled as it came to rest and especially as it moved rapidly away.”

The Drinkwines decided the object was remote controlled. Cliff Drinkwine said he believes so-called “saucers” are a secret military device controlled by the United States.

The Argus Observes from Sept. 4, 1952 -- On football stirring the blood

By Don Lynch

Does football stir your blood? It does that of countless fans the country over, stirs the senses as few sports do.

Perhaps one reason is that play begins here each year as the season changes to autumn, when one feels a physical alertness and a new fund of energy s the first cool weather occurs. New enthusiasm shapes up in many forms and in the field of sports it turns to the starting of football.

If you want to feel the freshness of autumn moving through your veins, if you want to recapture some of the boundless energy of teen-age, attend the Snake River Jamboree on the Ontario high school field Friday night.

Every town enjoys the pleasure of its football game and some lucky towns have pre-season all-star games; but Ontario has its own superb football opener in the Snake River Valley jamboree, which is a unique show of its kind in this area.

What a thrill it is to watch the bands move out across the field, led by pert drum majorettes, to stand in the bleachers at attention as the drums roll while the Legion color guard carries the flag past the stands, to listen with pardonable pride while our Snake River Valley kids massed together in one large band play an unpracticed version of the Star Spangled Banner and watch with pride as the athletes stand at attention bareheaded while the colors are raised.

Then the line-up, the whistle, the first game is on and you can feel the excitement and tension of the kids down there waiting anxiously to get hit good and solid for the first time, and waiting to run that precarious first play so they can wear off the nervous edge and settle down to real performance.

NOTE: The Sept. 8, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer reported that all teams played scoreless quarters of football in Friday night’s Football Jamboree at the Ontario High field. The Ontario Tigers fumbled away their best chance to score on the Weiser 24-yard-line.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Coach Ken Glore says his defense is troubled

First-year varsity football coach Ken Glore told the local paper for a story in its Sept, 3. 1952 edition --- leading up to the Friday night football jamboree pitting local schools against each other for one quarter of football --- that his team “looked promising on offense but terrible on defense.”

Glore said he had planned a hard defense-oriented practice for Wednesday, Sept. 2, but a sudden rainstorm had broken the field lights and he sent his team to the showers.

Tom Conklin, a 180-pound fullback with two years of experience though only a junior, was expected to be Ontario’s leading runner. Charles Garcia and Burke Nicholson were to alternate at quarterback in Glore’s T-formation system. Gary Capps and Skip Thayer were to fill in at halfback.

On the front line on offense would be Norris Gurney and Jess Jackson at tackle, Ken Ackerman at guard and Sam Taylor at end, identified as “linemen to watch.“

Meanwhile, Vale Coach Jerry Cammann said his team was light on material going into the year but “long on experience,” with Tony Arana and Jerome Connors alternating at quarterback.

Ontario High School struggles with No Child Left Behind

In an editorial, the Sept. 5, 2007 Argus Observer notes that "the bad news, at least for Ontario, revolved around the fact Ontario High school and Ontario Middle School did not meet adequate yearly progress goals (which are the bench marks established by the state under No Child Left Behind).

"For the fifth year in a row."

The editorial noted that the school district has instituted some reforms that it hopes will improve the schools' scores.

(Check it out via our link, but you may have to use the web site's archives and key words to get to the text.)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Student body moving into new Ontario High is record in size

“Over 500 high school students gathered in the new Ontario High School gym at 9:30 this morning for the first student body meeting this school year,” The Ontario Argus-Observer reported on Monday, Sept. 1, 1952.

“All four classes were together with the Freshman class the largest it has ever been with 153 students registered at the starting of school this morning.”

Students fiddled with the combinations on their new bank of lockers. They admired the new gym and were reportedly “awed” by the loud speaker system connecting each classroom to the office.

After a quick home room session, they assembled in the gym where the student body president, Loren Sevey, introduced the class officers.

The school principal, Rober McConnaha, told the paper that 462 high school students had pre-registered and another 62 signed up that morning. Workmen were still putting the final touches on the building but McConnaha said they would be “nearly finished inside” within three weeks.
Regular classes were scheduled to begin Wednesday, Sept. 3.

Local riders named winners in the horse show at the County Fair

In its Sept. 1, 1952 issue, The Argus-Observer listed winners in the riding events that accompanied the horse races at the Malheur County Fair.

Western Pleasure Class Riding: Sue Hills, Bonnie Hodges, Virinia Corn, Neil Tensen, Jo Durham, Dolores Wolfgram, Donna Flyyingness and Dorothy Gray.

Barrel Race: Glen Stillwell, Irene Turner, John Hodges and Fay Corn.

Cow Cutting: Glen Stillwell, Irene Turner, Bud Trowbridge and Skinny Tensen.

Trailer Race: John Hodges and Glen Stillwell.

Musical Chair Race: Glen Stillwell, Anna Tensen and Neil Tensen.

2007 Tigers honor deceased coach and there are strange lights in the sky

Notes from the Sept. 2, 2007 issue of The Ontario Argus Observer

The Ontario High Tigers thumped a visiting Nevada 3A team from Lowry in the Tigers’ opening football game, 53-14. The team turned the contest into a tribute to its former Coach, Chuck Bates, who died unexpectedly in August.

Three residents from Nyssa and one from Ontario reported seeing unearthly bright lights in the sky. One, who is a pilot, tells the Argus: “I don’t think it was from here. Everytime I say that I say that I want to kick myself. I know it sounds crazy…but I don’t think they were from here."

Use our link to the newspaper’s web page for the full stories. Go to archives, enter the date and key words for stories from previous issues.

The Argus Observes for Sept 1, 1952

By Don Lynch

This is the fifth anniversary of the consolidation of the Ontario Argus and the Eastern Oregon Observer into the Argus-Observer. This consolidated newspaper has now served the Ontario area for five years as a semi-weekly. It has likely run more pages of newspaper per week, on the average, than any other one newspaper in a town the size of Ontario in the Pacific Northwest.

Some maturity must accrue to a newspaper on its fifth anniversary. Therefore this seems like a fitting occasion to begin a personal column by the editor --- an idea we have been kicking around for a long time.

However, your editor doesn’t feel mature. Newsmen must guard against the feeling that they have “arrived” in professional competence.

The need for such humbleness on the part of working newsmen was well summarized by a sign that used to hang above the sports desk in a Washington D.C. newspaper. It read, “As long as you know you’re green you continue to grow, but when you think you’re ripe, you start to get rotten.”

Columns like this one are standard features to be found in a great many newspapers these days. This trend stems in part from the tremendous readership acquired by syndicated news columns during the past generation. Success of the big columnist has caused editors to feel that a more personal touch would increase the readership of their own material.

For the past generation editors have bemoaned the fact that the readership of newspaper editorials has fallen off. In the days before movies, radio and television, frequently the best entertainment readily at hand was the writing of some old-style fire-eating editor found on the editorial page of the local newspaper. Everyone read the editorials. Today editorials are read by a small percentage of newspaper subscribers --- sometimes referred to by editors as a “select” group.

The editor’s personal column represents an effort on the part of the editor to reach a larger general audience of readers. This was part of my reason for starting a column.
Another more important reason is the freedom and flexibility afforded by a column like this. One can write easily in the first person abut something he had read, a movie he has seen, an experience or idea he has had, all with an easy informality difficult to accomplish within the rather strict limitation of editorial column style.

Selection of the name, “The Argus Observes,” is an obvious one taken from the name of the newspaper.

The name Argus comes from Greek mythology. Subsequent columns will deal with a variety of information and ideas. An early issue will tell the story of the Greek Argus. (Editor’s note: Read that column as one of the August 2007 postings.)