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Roger on Main Street

Goodbye Roger

This was the last, and will be the last column written by Roger. He succumbed to his long battle with illness on Saturday, January 5, 2013 (see front page). It is a great sadness that his words will no longer appear in print in the two newspapers he founded. It makes my heart break that he will no longer brighten the day of so many with his special wit and observations. He was much like his column. That was Roger.

And, besides his family, the thing he loved most were these two newspapers, The Rockford Squire and The Cedar Springs Post. Neither would have existed at all if not for his spark, his dedication and his love of these little local newspapers. Publishing weekly through Y2K, Google, the financial crisis, war, the internet explosion and so many odds stacked against them, they have survived.

Now owned and operated by his two daughters, he was always there for us, just a phone call away with a cheerful tone and a way of calming the worst of days. He was our father, our teacher, our rock, and our best friend. We hope we made him proud.

Goodbye Roger, we’ll miss you.

roger on main streetWhen things get crazy

Wow. The world of hourly or daily news sometimes has dull days but there are times when everything happens at once. Last week made me glad this paper is a hometown weekly. We didn’t have to rush around to cover the explosions and deaths in the Middle East or the “storm of the century” that tore up much of the East Coast or, of course, the General scandal. All those news stories have had breaking developments that Big News operations must continue to chase.

Having had experience with FEMA, I can speak confidently that the East Coast storm story alone will last for weeks. I’ve seen lots of houses off their foundations. It will take $billions to repair these losses and thousands of print inches and broadcast hours to talk about them.

Getting a weekly paper out sometimes seems hectic but, in comparison, you’d probably have to say it’s pretty relaxing.

When things go bad

Three weeks after the wedding day, Sally called her minister. “Reverend,” she wailed, “John and I have had a TERRIBLE fight!”

“Calm down, my child,” said the minister. “It’s not half as bad as you think. Every marriage has to have its first fight.”

“I know, I know!” said Sally. “But what am I going to do with the body?”

‘Tis the season

An old man in Phoenix calls his son in New York. “I hate to ruin your day,” he says, “but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough.”

“Pop, what are you talking about?” yells the son.

“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old man says. “We’re sick and tired of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.” And he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, “Like heck they’re getting a divorce!” she shouts. “I’ll take care of this.”

She calls Phoenix immediately and screams at her father, “You are NOT getting divorced! Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back right now and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” And she hangs up.

The old man turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says. “They’re coming for Christmas and they’re paying their own way.”

’Tis the season, blond edition

The blonde goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. She says to the clerk, “May I have 50 stamps?”

“What denomination?” asks the clerk.

“God help us,” says the woman. “Has it come to this? Give me six Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists.”

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