It made the national news outlets: the Today Show, NPR, most of the countries major newspapers and Evening News shows. Today was the last issue of Denver's Rocky Mountain News and my mornings will never be the same. The Rocky was printed in tabloid format which means that it fit on the breakfast table without encroaching on anyone else across the table. That was not the only reason I loved it. It was part of my morning routine: the local and national news, the columnists, the comics, the entertainment section and the human interest stories. My day did not start without it for the last 35 years since my move to Denver and I will have to adjust as my subscription moves over to the Denver Post.
I have always read a newspaper, starting with the Norwalk Hour (CT) which was an afternoon paper in my hometown. It was really a nothing of a paper with local school board news, obituaries and engagement notices, but it was my connection to my hometown. The New York Times was the morning paper of choice when I was old enough to appreciate it. It didn't have any comics, which turned me off as a child, but educated me and entertained me once in High School and beyond. I do not read it regularly now that I am in Denver, but I maintain my contact with it through its online site. That is probably part of the problem with the whole industry. Today's generation gets most of their news online, as well as entertainment and contact with the world's events. I, however, have always loved flipping the pages, reading the ads, and getting ink on my fingers. My first job in Denver with a major (now disappeared Department Store) had me proofreading ads for my division and for years after I left, I still looked over each ad for the registered trademark symbol and misspellings. I think my grammar and spelling really improved as I looked for errors.
I can remember my grandfather spending hours reading every word in the morning newspaper when we lived with him in the 50's. As an immigrant, he honed his English skills with the newspaper daily.
I literally matured with the Rocky. I didn't appreciate the power of columnists until I came under the spell of John Coit in the 80's, Greg Lopez in the 90's and Gene Amole all through that time until 2002. As a matter of fact, it was Gene Amole who taught me how to make cinnamon rolls and turkey stuffing in his columns along with his opinions of the city and how they moved him. I mourned with the whole community with the passing of these wonderful journalists. If you have never read their words, google them, and make them part of your lives too. You will be forever richer for the effort.
So my mornings will be bittersweet now spreading the much larger Post and avoiding blocking Gary's sports section across the table. Some of the current columnists will be moving over to the Post and the comics will be picked up as well. But it will never be the same.
Oh, how I will miss you, my Rocky Mountain News.