Why The Paper’s Still Worth 75¢

(The paper costs 75¢?  Wow, I guess I lost track.  I subscribe, so I never check.  Damn, again I digress before I even start.)

It’s been easy to criticize what’s become of the Hartford Courant over the last year or two, but it has never been the fault of the people who give life to paper and ink:  the reporters and photographers. 

Patrick Raycraft/Hartford Courant 12.25.08

Patrick Raycraft/Hartford Courant 12.25.08

I got my 75¢ worth today, thanks in large part to three of the finest.  David Owens’ obituary on Angel Arce Torres brought back the horror of the hit-and-run that brought national shame to Hartford.  And Patrick Raycraft’s pictures were portraits of a son’s love for his father.

This awful story also produced a hero.  Torres’ son, Angel Arce.  With class and dignity, Arce has spoken eloquently for his father, and has consistently supported the efforts of the police in their search for someone who is now a killer.  Hartford would be much better off with more Angel Arces.

Also on the front page was Rinker Buck’s solid story on Ralph Dzenutis, the father in Cornwall who was arrested for hosting a post-prom party for his son and his buddies.

“They were good kids, mostly, and I was amazed at how many of them had taken pains to make sure they had a sober, designated driver,” Dzenutis said. “But I would be the first to admit that the party got out of control. I just wanted to throw a nice fireside party for my kids and their friends after the prom. I was told that 30 kids would be coming. But in this age of texting, Facebook and cellphones, all the kids tell the other kids, and you end up with over 200 kids at your place.”  (Ralph Dzenutis to Rinker Buck)

An editorial on the subject in the Courant referred to “Adults with memories of youthful escapades that turned out fine are letting hazy nostalgia cloud their supposedly grown-up judgment.”

My youthful escapades turned out fine, but all I have to thank for that is fate.  Or luck.  There were occasions I could have ended up very dead.  And there was nothing my very responsible parents could have done about it.  That’s no “hazy nostalgia.”  That’s a sharp memory that says maybe we shouldn’t be so sanctimonious as to condemn the Ralph Dzenutises who occupy the real world.  There’s no condoning drunk driving, especially in light of the horrific accidents involving teenagers we’ve seen in Connecticut.  But read the story, and you’ll find a man who gave an honest effort to do what he thought was right.

Anyway, the paper did what it should.  In my world, it complemented and expanded on what we reported on television the night before.  It gave me an opportunity to reflect on the stories and the main players.  It was a satisfying companion to my coffee and bowl of gruel.  Morning with the paper is sacred time to me. 

It was worth the 75¢.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Media, News, People and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Why The Paper’s Still Worth 75¢

  1. Linda says:

    “it complemented and expanded” – sums it up perfectly. Although I do peruse various news websites, nothing beats reading the newspaper – not only for the wonderful articles, but I have my favorite comics too. And since I never purchase anything at full price, I have to have the sales flyers! Being able to circle or cut out items of interest is easier and more efficient that looking up various stores on-line.

  2. Chris Dancy says:

    Gerry,

    Thanks to a Canadian friend, I’ve discovered Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe, Canada’s Garrison Keillor and Lake Woebegon. Stuart recently did a wonderful, thoughtful podcast on newspapers. It’s here: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/vinylcafe_20090502_14123.mp3. It runs about 15 minutes. I highly, highly recommend it.

    –chris

  3. doughardy says:

    yeah david nailed that story today. someone needs to step up and make an arrest.

  4. Peter N says:

    Gerry, I read the Courant every day but the boxscores are getting smaller. Maybe it’s my 50 plus year old eyes. “Life Itself,” as Bruce wrote and sang. It happens when you’re “busy making other plans”…John Lennon.
    Great comeback by the 2009 cardiac kids. Be well. Peter

  5. First paper I remember buying was the Daily Hampshire Gazette, published in Northampton, Mass. A nickel.I was about 6 years old. Walked up to the Jones News Room ( aptly named. My Jones would be news, a lifelong addiction ) Got the paper for my father. I didn’t always pay right then and there. Often told Harry Jones, ” My father will pay you later. ” Which he always did.

    A few years ago the most recent owner of Jones News room got in a heap of trouble. Sports gambling operation running out of the store. That’s one Jones I’ve never had.

  6. Gerry says:

    Linda, I still read the comics, too. And on Sundays, I pull out the coupons for my wife to clip.

    Chris, thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely check it out.

    Doug, the Courant gets all the attention, but the JI just keeps on keepin’ on.

    Peter, it looks to me like the baseball stats page is syndicated, but I’m just grateful it’s there. The type is small, but I gotta have the box scores!!!

    And Terry, we got the Record-American in the AM, and the Globe and Framingham News in the PM. And I read ’em all. (And one thing I’ve always been grateful for is that I never got the gambling bug, sports or otherwise, either.)

  7. Graham says:

    Boy, this brings back memories. As a kid, I would “fill in” on the paper route for the family next door when they were on vacation.
    In the morning, you had the Boston Herald. Then in the afternoon, you’d deliver the Boston Traveler, (blue stripe), the Boston Globe (red stripe), and the Quincy Ledger (no stripe) all at the same time. I think the paper bag weighed more than I did some days. Some people would take all three at night and others just one or two. It felt so “cool” to have that bag slung over my shoulder. I was out doing something usefull and making a couple of quarters at the same time.
    Things have sure changed. The Courant won’t deliver unless you let them put a box out at the end of the driveway and the “free” advertiser just throws the paper on the ground and drives off. (isn’t there a law against littering)?
    I think I’ll turn on NBC30 and see what’s going on there.
    Have a great Wednesday!!

  8. Gerry says:

    We appreciate your business, Graham, more than you know.

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