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Off the Editor’s Desk – 5-14-2014

May is graduation month and our annual feature of pictures and stories of local high school graduation is featured in this week’s edition of the Colfax Messenger for both Colfax and Elk Mound High Schools, and will be featured in the May 28 edition of the Tribune Press Reporter for both Glenwood City and Boyceville High Schools.

 Graduation is a great time, not only for the students that are graduating but for the parents and grandparents to mark not only the end of the one great adventure but the start of another, whether it be heading for higher education, job opportunities or serving our country.

I look back at my graduation and as many of you are also doing, looking forward to your class reunion this summer for a time to reminisce with old classmates.

Last Wednesday I attended an Alumni luncheon at the Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis. It was more than fifty years ago that I graduated from what was then called the Dunwoody Industrial Institute and that is where I learned the printing trade.

During the luncheon the school’s president talked about how the school has changed and what it is doing now. He told about the new 3D printer that produces a part from a computer drawing and how the school is involved with 4D printing, which is replicating human tissue. Someday the computer many be able to make you a new kidney!

Paula and I took a tour of the facility. The buildings have been completely changed and I could not find my way around inside. The tour took us to the printing department and it has really changed. I knew that the old hand-set type area was gone and the Linotypes were removed many years ago, but what happened to the printing presses that I learn on. The only presses in the pressroom were two digital Xerox presses that are controlled by a computer. The only thing that I could remember being there when I was there more than fifty years ago was the tape dispenser.

I asked to go to the electrical classrooms in hopes to visit with Glenwood City resident, Steve Lee who is an instructor at Dunwoody, but he had left for the day.

Leaving Dunwoody, Paula and I went to the Minnesota State Fair grounds to spend some time planning for the new home for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum. The museum produces a newspaper each day of the state fair using the old style of letterpress printing with hot lead type.

The museum would log in over 2,000 visitors daily during the 12 day run of the state fair giving those visitors a look at how a newspaper was printed in the 1930s. The building was built to look like what a typical small town newspaper building might look like. The museum was in that building in the fair’s Heritage Square area, just west of the grandstand for the past 26 years until after the fair last year.

The fair has demolished Heritage Square and the museum building to make way for a fifteen million dollar improvement called the West End Market, which includes a new bus entrance to the fairgrounds.

The old printing equipment, including a Linotype that was used to set type for the Glenwood City Tribune until 1976 was moved to a 4-H building on the fairgrounds. Many volunteers are trying to make that building, which is basically a three car garage, into the new museum, but it will not be like the old building. It is the hopes of the Minnesota Newspaper Foundation, which is the sponsoring organizing  of the museum, that the equipment will be up and running for the annual fair which starts on August 21st. I serve on the board of directors of the foundation and we have engaged a professional group to help raise funds with grants and donations to help with the cost making the new area into an old newspaper office.

My personal hope is that we can have everything up and running by the fair time.

Thanks for reading. Carlton