I'm sitting in the old newsroom at the Press, with its worn wooden floors and dusty piles of papers. It's been a hub of activity for generations, but those days are long past now. It's usually pretty dreary. It certainly is this morning.
Much of the rest of the building at 99 Main St. -- where the Press has been for a century -- is empty or rapidly getting there. Its day is done.
Our new owner, Michael Schroeder, is scouting around for a new office where he plans to move the Press within a few months. He's looked at glorious old buildings downtown and newer offices as well. I have no idea where we'll land.
What I do know is that by summer, we won't be here. We'll be somewhere new, where we can brush off the dust on whatever we drag along and prepare for a fresh start.
I hope we wind up downtown again -- it may not be the city's commercial center anymore, but it's certainly the news center -- but wherever we are, we'll be fine.
This brush with death has taught all us, inside the building and out in the community, how important the Press is to the life of Bristol, how much we owe to the people who buy the paper and how much the city as a whole would suffer if we weren't here. Now it's up to all of us to make sure we keep that reality firmly in mind as we spur the Press into a new era.
Our former owner, the Pennsylvania-based company whose name I intend to never say again, retains ownership of the building we're in now. It no doubt hopes to sell it, which is fine. Perhaps it can be renovated and given a new purpose. That would be nice.
But as for me, I'm anxious to move on, to set up shop elsewhere, to race toward wherever it is we're going. Heck, maybe we'll even have ergonomically sensible desks there, though this is still a newspaper so I know better than to get my hopes up too much.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org