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Carol Perkins: The Louisville Courier Journal & Walter Cronkite

Even today, Carol Perkins still remembers and misses having the daily paper in her home, back when most families took what was the state paper, the Louisville Courier-Journal and she remembers the methodical way her Grandfather read it page by page and never complained that there's nothing in the paper. One who read the Courier back then, and relied on a trusted news source like Walter Cronkite, knew more about the world, in far less time, and any news junky could know today. - CM<
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Feeling glamorous with acrylic fingernails

By Carol Perkins

A vivid memory I have of my father was of him sitting at the end of the couch under the light of the lamp, reading the Courier Journal. It was the Louisville Courier-Journal back then. He opened the paper wide (it was larger in size than now), covering all but his black-rimmed glasses, and read each page methodically. He didn't look at the pictures or the headlines and fold it up, lay it down, and complain there was "nothing in the paper." There was always "something" to read.

When he finished, he folded the paper and laid it next to him (or on the floor) ready for the next family member. We all read the Courier Journal. It was part of our education. As youngsters, my brothers and I read the "funnies," which I never found very funny, and as I aged I looked for the engagement announcements, knowing someday my picture would be in the paper, too. Wedding write-ups, describing the bride's dress and the festivities took up much of the paper on a particular day, and that was what interested me until I was older. My brother loved the sports pages. Every family member had his preference, but we read it all.

During the Christmas season, the paper ran a "seek and find" contest. Readers searched through the ads, looking for clues and then pieced the puzzle together. Long before I had anything to do, I spread the paper on the floor and looked for clues. There was a prize, but I have long forgotten what it was. The newspaper was our link to the world, along with Walter Cronkite when we had our TV.

Both my grandparents "took" the paper. My grandfather Sullivan passed away when I was six, so I have no memory of watching him read it, but he so admired the editor of Courier, he named his son (my father) Henry Watterson Sullivan after this famous journalist. (My grandson Noah is Noah Watterson.) I believe my grandfather would find my contributions to the newspaper, ever how small, to be "coming full circle."

My grandfather Reece and his entire family were never without the paper. Like my dad, I remember him reading it from page to page and then passing it along to my grandmother. All of his nine children were never without the Courier in their homes. By reading the paper, we could discuss events and situations beyond our hometown. My grandparents stood by the fact that to be well rounded a person must read the paper. I followed through with that view until the advent of the online issues (e-Courier). Even today, I miss the paper in my home.

Because of the way I was brought up, I think it is important to follow the printed word. If we don't support our newspapers, there won't be any in the future. There will be no pictures to clip for scrapbooks, crossword puzzles, editorials, obituaries, and local news. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting in an easy chair with a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. When my pile of papers gets too high on the hearth, I either use them for washing windows (best paper towels) or take them for recycling. I like to see them around me. It takes me to my youth.

Contact information:

(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on

This story was posted on 2017-05-19 11:01:43
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