February 10, 2009

Moving out, eventually

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.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Oooh, you said DOWNTOWN. The Chamber of Commerce word police will be coming down on you!

Anonymous said...

With thanks to Petula Clark!

"When you're alone
And life is making you lonely,
You can always go downtown
When you've got worries,
All the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know, downtown

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go
Downtown, things'll be great when you're
Downtown, no finer place for sure,
Downtown, everything's waiting for you

Don't hang around
And let your problems surround you
There are movie shows downtown
Maybe you know
Some little places to go to
Where they never close downtown

Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossanova
You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over
Happy again

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go
Downtown where all the lights are bright,
Downtown, waiting for you tonight,
Downtown, you're gonna be alright now
(Downtown, downtown)


And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you,
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along

So, maybe I'll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares and go
Downtown, things'll be great when you're
Downtown, don't wait a minute more,
Downtown, everything's waiting for you

Downtown (downtown) downtown (downtown)
Downtown (downtown) downtown (downtown)"