Remembering the Importance of Reading the Newspaper (before it’s too late.)

Remembering the Importance of Reading the Newspaper (before it’s too late.)

I learned to develop and improve my reading skills, which had been acquired by using the logic of the phonetic tools shared with me by my mother, by reading the newspaper.

I was four years old and keen on learning; I started each day before breakfast with the back page of the Daily Oklahoman and again before supper with the Oklahoma City Times. This is where I found single frame cartoons that filled the same role as the blogs of today. “They’ll do it Everytime” mentioned the things that irritate us. Another frame contained politically motivated ideas that were well beyond my ken. My interest in the back page would lead me to the editorial page for more cartoons and more still with The Funnies.

Here I met Nancy, The Katzenjammer Kids and the very attractive Blondie with her lazy, always late-to-work husband, Dagwood and their family who are with me still. This backdoor entry to the newspaper began as a practical solution to problems unique to my size. My arm-spread was at least a foot shy of making the paper possible to hold, so I laid it out on the couch. My reasons for laying the news face down have long since escaped me but the experience was one which I eagerly repeated for another two years scuffing my knees on the floor as I read, until I told Mother that I was getting too old for wearing short pants.

When I was in the first grade my head-start with early reading skills made me a natural for teaching a newly arrived German lad, the English language as spoken by one his own age. Classroom scuttlebutt soon made me aware that a reporter and a photographer as well as an interpreter representing the newly formed United Nations were here from The Daily Oklahoman to interview me and my tutee whose name is no longer with me. As Herr Kind spoke of leaving his war-torn country and his hopes and fears of making America his new home, I realized that he and I would be teaching each other. Failing to understand what he was saying, I focused instead on the reporter, the interpreter and now and then, the photographer. With each flash and the thud of the ejected bulb I would attempt to analyze the motive for each picture taken.

It was on that day that I learned the basics of gathering reliable information, the value of taking good notes and the importance of illustrative photography

It was on the following day that I learned to begin my early morning “read” by beginning with

the FRONT PAGE.

From: Not Now, Maybe Later. By Lee Broom.

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