You Can Go Home Again
Five years ago when the opportunity came up for The Rye Record to have a “home” of our own, as in a little Victorian house overlooking the brook on Elm Place, we grabbed it.
By Robin Jovanovich
Five years ago, when the opportunity came up for The Rye Record to have a “home” of our own, as in a little Victorian house overlooking the brook on Elm Place, we grabbed it. The rent was high, but those were high-flying days and we were no longer that little community paper that came out monthly.
We had a sign made and hung it proudly. While people often stopped by when we were in a second-floor office across the street, we barely had room for visitors in our new quarters — especially on Friday afternoons when people were off work early or just strolling by with a Longford’s cone in their hand because it was Friday. They came on Thursday afternoons when they saw the freshly delivered papers on a palette outside our door. People stopped by every day of the week to read the page proofs in our front window or to grab an extra copy because “their grandson made the paper” or “they were out of town and just learned that an old friend had passed away.”
If I say that our 17 Elm office was an old friend to many, I’m not boasting, just ruminating over the past five years. Bob Schubert, when he was healthy, was a regular. He always enjoyed seeing the poster of an old front page on which he was a top news story. I promised to make a copy of that poster for him, but I was too late. I so regret not giving it to him the last time he was here.
Another old timer, who’s a coffee nut based on the fact that he’s never walked in without a cup of Joe, always remarks: “You certainly report a lot of negative things on your front page: recession on Rye’s doorstep, worst flood since the last one…”
Well, like pretty much everyone else, I tell him, we’ve been through three terrible floods here and even The Rye Record isn’t recession-proof. He seems to like my stories, which may help explain why I’m always the last one writing one on Deadline Night!
Jim Byrne and I have penned a lot of stories in these offices. We’ve also dealt with out-of-town and in-town subscription glitches, and interviewed candidates for City Council, County Legislator, County Executive, State Assembly, and the School Board. We’ve listened and even learned a few things.
When the recession hit us hard in 2008, I suddenly found myself having to be a business manager too. Not a dream job or something I ever dreamed of becoming as a child. But who doesn’t like a challenge.
In fact, I honestly believe that challenge has stimulated a few extra brain waves the last few years — “The Game” special section that Jim Byrne created last fall, our revamped website, and a punchier graphic design for the entire paper. We’ve also welcomed so many new contributors and columnists — including Bill Lawyer, who writes on everything, but environmental issues best of all; Melanie Cane, who handles sports, pets, and people with equal skill and enthusiasm; Kathleen Durkee, who took on the Inquiring Photographer assignment and is always ready to cover school and social events; Lee Sandford, the Boot Camp queen, whips us into shape (or gets us thinking about getting back into shape) with every one of her fitness columns; Miranda van Dijk, who is the youngest summer intern we’ve had and the best (she’s coming back for a third year!); Lexi Hart, whose “Wry Moments” cartoon graces every page 2; Tom McDermott, whose range of witty topics was greater than his initial column head, “Too Small to Fail”; Flavia Aroesty, who exudes flair and fun and brings us fashion-forward with “The Look”; Annabel Monaghan, who had us at her first “Along for the Rye’d”; Bob Marrow, who writes profiles on everyone from veterans (most recently Bob Schubert) to kids (“Kid Leo”); and Walt Mardis (yes, we do allow Harrison residents to write for us), for whom no subject is too big to tackle. Sarah Martin, my daughter-in-law, not only takes us “Around Town” and “Out of Here”, but covers Billing. Carla Eggers didn’t exactly ask to be put in charge of Advertising, but she was already assisting my husband Peter, who rents office space from us for the scholarship foundation he runs, and she was in the building that day!
In case I haven’t had a chance to tell you newer contributors — I know I emailed Paul Hicks, Mary Gerster, Michelle Florence, Georgetta Morque, Janice Fabry, Chris Cohan, John Schwarz, Lou Campoli, Arthur Stampleman, Nick D’Agostino, Annette McLoughlin, “Ask Alice”, and of course my former partner Allen Clark and his wife Whitney, and my still partner, Dolores Eyler Siler — we’re moving back to our old office space, 14 Elm Place, Suite 200, next week.
It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m going to miss putting those page proofs up on our front window in the wee hours every other Thursday, once we’ve sent the files to the printer and we’re tidying up. I always enjoy watching people pause to read the proofs on their way to the usual suspects: the Smoke Shop, Morgans, Starbucks, and Longford’s.
I will no longer be able to look out the window to see if Blind Brook is close to overflowing or if a pair of ducks is going merrily downstream. I’ll also miss assisting strangers who walk in and ask for the name of a good restaurant — take your pick — or a good place for a haircut (I’m a loyal Milano’s girl). I won’t miss the cold callers (who now seem to be coming in perky teams!) but I invite the rest of the world to come visit us in our old/new offices, which I plan to make a home, soon.