Looking forward to a new office, but looking back at things I’ll miss

Published 10:59 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past few days, you’ve learned by now that The Vicksburg Post is moving to a new location on Washington Street.

We will soon be packing our things and moving to a building at 1106 Washington St., where we will be able to watch the vehicular and pedestrian traffic and be a little closer to the seats of county and municipal government.

I’ve had a chance to look at our new location. It’s a nice place; it looks like a place where one can feel at home.

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But to an old hand like me, I feel some nostalgia leaving our current office.

I will miss the old building on North Frontage Road. I’ll miss the newsroom, where I spent time with many great people, and I’ll remember that faint whirring sound of the presses as they kicked on and printed the daily editions.

Newsrooms used to have a particular feel and atmosphere. There were people at their machines (in the beginning, typewriters) getting out stories for the day’s edition or for some future edition. There were people meeting in the editor’s office and photographers coming and going with images to illustrate an article.

The room was lit with fluorescent lights that cast a kind of green haze over the occupants and several lights were always fluttering as fluorescent lights do when they try to stay on. The conversation in the newsroom was always animated and sometimes yelled over the clatter of typewriters. The volume went down after computers were introduced, but the conversations remained animated.

Newspapers back when I began had a certain aroma ( to say smell is too harsh) — a mix of newsprint dust and ink from the press. It hit you the minute you walked in the building and you knew you were in a special place.

Over the years, newsrooms in many places became more sanitary. The presses were moved away from the newsroom and the conversations became less active.

I’ve always been fortunate to work at papers where the newsrooms had that “old style” from my early years, but soon that period and those newsrooms will be a fond memory, like many of the people I worked with and covered over the years.

The new building will be closer to some of the areas I visit, such as city hall and the courthouse, and I’m looking forward to being able to occasionally walk from the new office to meetings and interviews and get some needed exercise.

And I’ll be closer to some good restaurants for lunch if I so desire, and a bookstore. When I learned we were moving, one of the first questions I asked was about parking, but now that I know where we’ll be and that I can walk on occasion, that doesn’t seem like a problem anymore.

So I’ll soon begin clearing out my desk in preparation for the move and anticipate the day when I say goodbye to the building on North Frontage and prepare to settle in at a new location.

 

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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