Even this cloud had silver lining

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2011

If you want to know the truth, I think Jeff Moore and I who jinxed us.

Wednesday afternoon, the Star-News’ circulation manager and I were talking about a horrible day and night six or so years ago when the press wouldn’t run. I worked in Brewton at the time. It was the latest a paper I’ve published has ever been. (Note: I just paused to genuflect, throw salt over my shoulder and pray Please, God. I’m not tempting fates. Don’t let it happen again).

So we were chatting about this on Wednesday, and I had a strange feeling, like we were about to be jinxed.

Sure enough, at 11 p.m., we had software problems and couldn’t burn the last two pages of Thursday’s Star-News to plate, the last step before it goes on the press.

Our press manager, Chris Love, worked diligently. Three different tech support people didn’t answer.

Confident they would call back, I went home. I have apologized profusely to Chris, because when he called at 1 a.m., I hung up on him. Could have sworn it was the alarm. He called again: Still no luck; we would have to print in another facility.

Fortunately, our friends at a sister newspaper, The Selma Times-Journal, helped. Through the wonder of electronics, the paper was printed and ready for us to load by the time our guys could get there.

Back home, another faithful group of people who work in our mailroom were waiting. You see, the papers still had to be “stuffed,” (have the advertising inserts put in), sorted for carriers and labeled for those going in the mail. Our carriers were waiting, too.

None of that mattered to the folks who didn’t have a paper in the driveway at the normal time. When my alarm really went off, readers were already emailing. When the staff arrived, the phone was ringing.

After much shuffling, the papers got delivered, albeit late. We apologize to our readers. Trust me, none of us want things like this to happen.

In every cloud there is a silver lining, my father says, and so it is in this one. We were reminded that we matter to our readers, that what we produce is a part of their days that they like and expect. It is a powerful motivator and a wonderful feeling to know that our work matters to you. Thank you for that.

(Note: Just to be on the safe side, because there are several press runs yet to go tonight, I’m genuflecting, and whispering that prayer again: Please God. You already reminded us this week).