The long tradition of afternoon newspapers in the United States continues to fade, as the Jefferson City News-Tribune announced Sunday it would switch from afternoons to mornings on Monday, Oct. 5.
Having spent 10 years of my life working for afternoon newspapers, nine at The Carthage Press and one at the Lamar Democrat when it was a daily, I hate to see the afternoon newspapers continuing to bite the dust.
Growing up in Newtonia, I can still recall the fellowship of young and old alike as we waited every afternoon for the Neosho Daily News to arrive at Gum Mercantile. For a while, when I was in high school, I also bought the afternoon Joplin News-Herald from Alan Oxendine every day.
Not only did I get the local news, but I loved the syndicated columnists, especially Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson, any information about the St. Louis Cardinals (sometimes even the Kansas City Royals after that franchise began in 1969) and the rest of the news that was going on in the world.
When the weather was nice, we would head to Gum's store after school and sit on the sidewalk outside and talk to the older men who would gather there each day to wait for the Daily.
If it was cold, we would go inside and sit around the wood stove in the back of the store, sometimes watching the television back there I can vividly recall watching Bob Gibson strike out 17 Detroit Tigers in game one of the 1968 World Series (games back then were held in the afternoon).
Afternoon newspapers have long since ceased being the method of bringing a community together that they once were, but it is still a shame to see them rapidly disappearing from our landscape.