Archived Story

Michael Bennett: Put things in perspective

Published 10:31pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

per·spec·tive:
Noun: a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance

After a 7 a.m. start Tuesday, I got home after a very full and long day at 6:30 p.m. I heard about a pretty bad crash we were covering, although we didn’t have too many details.

I got through dinner by 7:30 and slumped into my easy chair to play a little “Words with Friends.” Just as I began to relax, the phone rang.

It was our press foreman, Mark Sears, letting me know he was having a real challenge changing the plates on the press. He said he would do what he could do and let me know.

Besides our two dailies, we had five other press runs that night.

Fifteen minutes later, and Mark is beginning to grow concerned. “We may not be able to print tonight.” Trust me — as a publisher, those are words you don’t want to hear. I found myself back in the office at 8:30 p.m. The newsroom continued to work on that story about the tragic crash involving a teenager and three children. We understood that one might not have survived.

Meanwhile, creative services manager Anne Johnson came in to help me make arrangements to work with an outside printer. Our go-to printer in Milford, Ind., was already jammed up with another newspaper that was having press issues. They did not think they could fit us in their schedule.

Plan B is a large printing facility near Kalamazoo. It’s 9:30 by now, and they finally are able to get the plates on the press. They push the green “start” button and an important motor goes out. Doing the math, we realize there is no way we will be able to print and time is running out to meet our deadlines with the post office. We get confirmation that 6-year-old Sophia True’s life was cut short.

It’s 10 p.m. and we find out that plan B wasn’t going to work. At this point, I decided to try to contact the South Bend Tribune for printing help. And the phone rings. The good people at The Papers called to tell us that their press crew was willing to work overtime to accommodate us. By 10:30, I’m at the Shell station to gas up the van.

Thanks to Everleaner Perry and Cleavon Bradshaw from our mailroom, who made the trip to Milford at 1:30 this morning. Unfortunately, Milford was delayed, and thankfully, the post offices were willing to work with us to give us an extra 15 minutes.

Wednesday morning, I learned that 9-year-old Juliana Brown also died from injuries received in that Tuesday afternoon car crash. I wonder about the others involved? The driver of the truck, the 19-year-old aunt who was driving the girls home from school, the children’s parents? I don’t think it is possible to truly understand the grief caused by this accident. My heart goes out to all that have been touched.

My day wasn’t that tough.

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  • Mrs. Lowrance

    Well spoken! Thank you …Thank you!!

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