Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


May 5, 2013

05/05/2013 — Lee Ward: Old newspapers yield more than work research

ASHLAND — Much research was needed to write this week’s Sunday feature story about the Ashland chapter of Jaycees.

Fortunately for me, the Boyd County Public Library had a large box of information and a large scrapbook, donated by the Kopp family, of Jaycees information.

I spent one morning going through every speck of that information to piece together the early history of Jaycees in Ashland, including old clippings from the newspaper.

Unfortuntely for me, I’m easily distracted when I look at old newspapers.

Old newspapers fascinate many people for many reasons.

Newspapers reflect the style of the newspaper business at the time. Journalists used to freely label people and situations in ways modern journalists would be in trouble with the boss for now, including commenting on the attractiveness of women and shaking a finger at someone who is guilty of perceived wrongdoing, even if that wrongdoing is something like wearing white after Labor Day.

Old newspapers used more formal language than we use now and use words I’ve never heard before. In fact, I learned a new word while working on this story: pulchritude, which means the beauty or comeliness of a person or thing. In this story, the reference was the to the pulchritude of a young woman in a pageant, another example of something a modern journalist wouldn’t say.

In researching this story, I got distracted by a couple of the stories and for different reasons.

I opened a paper from more than 50 years ago to find a photo of a beautiful Boston terrier, one of my favorite breeds. The caption said the dog had inherited $50,000 from its late owner, who left it the cash because she was worried that, without it, the dog would miss out on the “calf liver and steak dinners it had grown accustomed to.”

That was a lot of money for a dog to inherit in the 1950s.

The other terribly distracting story from 1949 was a police report.

It stated several passersby on Winchester Avenue were distracted and concerned about what sounded like a dog trapped in a trash receptacle provided by a Jaycees fundraising project.

People stopped to investigate and finally were able to open the trash receptacle only to find there was no dog inside.

The story unfolded: Dan-Dee Darling of Huntington, a ventriloquist, was standing down the street from the trash receptacle, throwing his voice to see how people would react.

Ultimately, city police came and took Darling to the station, gave him a stern talking to and released him.

With no arrest, modern newspapers wouldn’t have reported the story, but I say that might have been the most interesting story of the year.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

Text Only
  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014

  • Sweet thoughts on the season

    So far, I’ve been a good girl. Or a pretty good girl anyway. See, I have this thing for Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Homemade peanut butter eggs? Eh. I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.

    April 7, 2014