Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Newspaper Clippings & Mirrors

I was reading a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, Andrea Merriman, today, and she reminded me of a childhood memory.  You can read Andrea's post here:  http://andreamerriman.wordpress.com/2011/05/

I've explained in earlier posts that my Dad was an extremely eccentric person; lovable, but weird.  Dad read the newspaper in a fashion like nobody else.  He spent a few minutes in the morning looking at the headlines with a pair of scissors.  If there was something that caught his eye, he cut it out and put it in his inside suit coat pocket.  Throughout the day, as he had a few minutes, he would take out an article and read it.

Now this system worked for Dad, but it didn't work for anyone else in the family.  The only way to read the newspaper in our home was to get up very early prior to Dad's date with the scissors.  Dad didn't think it was a problem.  If he saw an article that he thought applied to one of his children, he cut it out and taped it to our bedroom mirror--selective reading, of sorts.  I didn't get to read anything but Dad's "selections," until I left home.  I did, however, look forward to seeing clippings appear on my bedroom mirror.

Leaving home didn't stop Dad from saving articles for us.  Dad would carefully address an envelope to each of his children, and to his friends.  When he saw articles that he thought we would like, or a cartoon that applied to our lives, he would place it in our envelope.  When there were two or three clippings, he would put a stamp on the envelope and mail it to us.  When Dad died, Mom asked me to go through his desk.  There were several envelopes in his desk waiting for mailing, including one to his deer hunting buddy (which we mailed with a note).

I've never figured out why he read the paper this way, but then again, I've never figured out the why behind many things my father did.  Dad gave us lots of things to laugh about when he was here, and now that he's gone, we're still laughing.  I do miss those clippings coming in the mail.


  1. My mom does the same thing, forgetting most of us use the Internet these days. Wait, I'm an editor. Forget I just said that. Read your newspapers. Clip them. Listen to Laurie's dad.

  2. Dad? Weird? You mean most people don't vacuum their rock garden, or clean the bathroom before they change a washer?

  3. Mike, you're so funny! Just for the record, we still subscribe to a newspaper around here.

    Cheri, I'd forgotten about him cleaning the bathroom before he did plumbing work! Oh my gosh! You need to start your own blog!

  4. Haha! My step-father used to do a very similar thing. He too, would clip from the newspaper and put these in our rooms. Mostly to make a point about something. I had actually forgotten about this.

  5. Gabrielle ValentineJune 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    This was a sweet story! Made me smile. It likely brought him a lot of joy thinking about what to share and how his family and friends would react to reading the clippings. I love that he continued to clip and mailed them after you left home.